Tribpedia: Public Education

Tribpedia

More tax dollars are spent on public education than on any other governmental program in the state. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state, local, and federal revenue, a system that has produced inequities among the state's 1,030 traditional school districts and 207 charter operators.

As of 2010, more than 4 ...

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A reading assistant reads on the classroom floor with a small group of fourth graders at Wanke Elementary School in San Antonio on March 9, 2012.
A reading assistant reads on the classroom floor with a small group of fourth graders at Wanke Elementary School in San Antonio on March 9, 2012.

Struggling With State Exams, Students Still Advance

As policymakers continue to question whether standardized exams adequately track student achievement, most of the state's fifth- and eighth-graders who fail their state reading and math exams will likely move on to the next grade anyway.  

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

AG to Appeal School Finance Ruling to Supreme Court

UPDATED: Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal a ruling that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional, according to a notice his office sent Friday to attorneys in the case. The appeal is set to go directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

Science educator Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands speaks to the Senate Nominations Committee about her nomination as chair of the State Board of Education on Feb. 11, 2013.
Science educator Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands speaks to the Senate Nominations Committee about her nomination as chair of the State Board of Education on Feb. 11, 2013.

SBOE Members Question Teacher Prep Requirements

State Board of Education members said Thursday that they hoped to persuade regulators overseeing the teaching profession to reconsider a decision made against raising the minimum GPA for educator certification programs.

Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.
Hank Warner teaches a pre-advanced placement algebra course for ninth-graders at Bowie High School in Austin.

Education Board Vote Targets Common Core Concerns

Addressing concerns that Common Core teaching standards were leaking into Texas' classrooms, the State Board of Education voted Wednesday in support of amending its rules to clarify that teachers are required to teach to the state curriculum — even when teaching an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course.

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Moody's: School Finance Ruling is "Credit Positive"

Moody's Investors Service described a judge's declaration of the state's school finance system as unconstitutional as a “credit positive,” saying the ruling would compel Texas lawmakers to “redesign the school finance system.”

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Texplainer: What's State's Strategy in School Finance Case?

Hey, Texplainer: I know the state plans to appeal a judge's recent decision that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional. But what will the state's defense be moving forward?

New in Trib+Edu: Teens Need Their Sleep

In this week's edition of the Trib+Edu newsletter: pediatricians push for later school start times, a study on the impact of tough math and science classes on dropout rates and an interview with Catherine Clark, formerly of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Leander ISD's Whitestone Elementary School, shown on Aug. 21, 2014, has six portable classrooms to help with increased student enrollment.  District officials say If the district couldn't use capital appreciation bonds to borrow money, it would have to put more students in portables.
Leander ISD's Whitestone Elementary School, shown on Aug. 21, 2014, has six portable classrooms to help with increased student enrollment. District officials say If the district couldn't use capital appreciation bonds to borrow money, it would have to put more students in portables.

Swelling Districts Find Costly Way to Grow Campuses

Leander and other fast-growing school districts have relied heavily on a controversial financing tool called capital appreciation bonds to borrow money to expand even as they bump up against state limits on school district debt.

Texas Students Receive Fewer Disciplinary Tickets

New court data show that the number of tickets written by public school police officers for student misbehavior has fallen 71 percent since laws designed to reduce the procedure went into effect late last year. Until the reforms, students who caused disruptions on school buses or in classrooms, who trespassed, or who possessed drugs or alcohol on school grounds could be ticketed with a Class C misdemeanor.

 

Tim Dunn founded the Midland Classical Academy in 1998.
Tim Dunn founded the Midland Classical Academy in 1998.

In Midland, a Political Donor With a Private School

In 1998, about a decade before Tim Dunn would become known as the benefactor behind one of the state’s most aggressive conservative advocacy groups, the West Texas oil and gas developer founded a school. The move marked Dunn’s growing personal interest in state education policy.

Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.
Attorney General Greg Abbott promoting his pre-kindergarten education proposal on April 2, 2014, at the IDEA Carver Academy in San Antonio.

Abbott Calls for Increased Funding for Online Learning

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott announced the third plank of his education policy plan on Thursday, calling for millions in increased funding for online learning initiatives, including increased access to the Texas Virtual School Network and the creation several grant programs.

State Board of Education incumbent Pat Hardy, left, is facing Eric Mahroum, a Tea Party activist, in a Republican primary runoff in North Texas.
State Board of Education incumbent Pat Hardy, left, is facing Eric Mahroum, a Tea Party activist, in a Republican primary runoff in North Texas.

SBOE Incumbent Faces a Strong Tea Party Challenge

Pat Hardy, a 12-year incumbent on the State Board of Education, is facing a tough re-election fight against a Tea Party activist in a Republican primary runoff that could shift the balance of power on the GOP-dominated board.