Tribpedia: Public Education

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 ...

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

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 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. 

A public education rally at the Capitol on March 11, 2013, sponsored by the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
A public education rally at the Capitol on March 11, 2013, sponsored by the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

Houston Teachers Sue Over Student Test-Based Evaluation

Seven teachers, backed by the Houston branch of the American Federation of Teachers, are suing the Houston school district over a new approach tying standardized test results to pay and employment decisions. 

 

A student works on math problems in Keith Marquez's summer school geometry class at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.
A student works on math problems in Keith Marquez's summer school geometry class at McAllum High School in Austin, Texas, Jul. 31, 2013.

New Law Limits Standardized Tests, but Not Prep Work

House Bill 5, which reduced standardized testing in public high schools, also included a provision aimed at easing the pressure of high-stakes exams for students in lower grades. But a year later, the provision that was written to curb the time educators spent preparing students for standardized tests instead of teaching may not have had the intended effect.

 

 

 

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 More Local Control of School Options

Unveiling his latest education policy plan, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Wednesday proposed giving school districts and parents more control of students' education by tossing out state mandates and regulations that promote “one-size-fits-all solutions.”

Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th
Texas gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Wendy Davis speaks to press following an education rally in Austin, Texas on April 14th

Davis Continues Attacks on Abbott's Education Proposals

Democrat  Wendy Davis accused Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott of proposing increased testing and denying equal access to pre-K education during a speech at Texas State Teachers Assoiation. His campaign said Abbott's plan removes state mandates and expands local control — without imposing standardized tests.