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 ...

Senators Debate Productivity Center, Class Size

State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, on July 20, 2010.
State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, on July 20, 2010.

 

During Tuesday's Senate Education committee meeting, senators considered legislation that could dramatically change the way school districts operate — including two bills that target the dreaded "unfunded mandates."

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Feb. 28, 2011

Ramshaw and Stiles on the tepid growth of Big D during the last decade, Hamilton talks immigration with state Rep. Leo Berman, M. Smith on Texas education's Race to the Top efforts, Grissom's interview with U.S. Trade Representative and former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Stiles with a new database on school superintendent paychecks, Dehn and Tan on the rise of ramped-up rhetoric over hotly contested legislation, Galbraith on who owns the water under Texas and yours truly on who's at risk in redistricting: The best of our best content from Feb. 28 to March 4, 2011.

Texas Capitol on Feb 22nd.
Texas Capitol on Feb 22nd.

Texas Lawmakers Debate How to Curb School Bullying

More than 15 anti-bullying bills have been filed this session. But while the legislation is supported by teacher organizations and advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League, it has drawn opponents as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the archconservative Liberty Institute, who question how effective any new state law will be in curbing aggression in schools. 

Texas Schools Contemplate Race to the Top Changes

The Obama administration’s 2012 education budget includes $900 million for the Race to the Top program. And this time around, there’s a twist: Individual districts — as opposed to states — can apply for the funds. For Texas districts, that could mean access to new federal money. It could also have them wading into a long-standing struggle between the state and the federal government over the implementation of national curriculum standards.

House members discuss changing politics at TribLive event on February 28, 2011
House members discuss changing politics at TribLive event on February 28, 2011

Texas Hispanic Lawmakers Spar Over Race, Education

Protecting education and recognizing that the rapidly growing Hispanic population will gain a major political voice in Texas were themes that emerged Monday afternoon at The Texas Tribune’s day-long “New Day Rising” forum at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Sen. Florence Shaipro talks with a colleague as the Texas Senate discusses the Voter ID for most of the day Tuesday.
Sen. Florence Shaipro talks with a colleague as the Texas Senate discusses the Voter ID for most of the day Tuesday.

State Senators Try to Buy Time for Teachers

With major state funding cuts looming, for many school districts, it's not a question of if — but how and when — teacher layoffs will occur. A new bipartisan bill from education leaders in the state Senate could temporarily change how schools go about that.

State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, on July 20, 2010.
State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, on July 20, 2010.

Budget Cuts Have Some Calling for STAAR Delay

Texas school districts are bracing for budget cuts and layoffs in the coming months. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the cuts have some worried about 2012, when the state will roll out STAAR, a new testing system.

"Rube Goldberg" School Finance System Faces New Test

Cutting $10 billion from the state’s bill for public education could push more than two-dozen school districts from the group that receives state financing into the group that writes checks to the state to even things out between richer and poorer districts. That’s dangerous political territory, but familiar terrain for Texas lawmakers.

Students at Austin Discovery School work on a project at the Texas charter school on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011.
Students at Austin Discovery School work on a project at the Texas charter school on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011.

Texas Charter Schools Eye Permanent School Fund

The single biggest hurdle facing charter schools in Texas, advocates say, is finding adequate facilities. Some lawmakers want to give charters the same backing of the state’s Permanent School Fund for facilities bonds that traditional public schools already have. That would help them secure far better interest rates to buy property and avoid costly rent and interest payments. Among the biggest opponents: the traditional public schools.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 2/14/11

Ramsey, Stiles, Aguilar and Murphy makes sense of the Census data (and Stiles and Murphy interactively map the population change by county), Grissom on possible job cuts for prison chaplains, Ramshaw on whether cash-strapped Texas should be in the cancer business, Philpott on if we should dip into the Rainy Day Fund, Hamilton on the digital age dawning at Abilene Christian University, C. Smith on the concealed carry debate at community colleges, Galbraith on the fallout from the rolling blackouts, Ramsey on Texas vs. Amazon.com and M. Smith on Perry vs. Doggett: The best of our best content from Feb. 14 to 18, 2011.

Texas Battle Over Rainy Day Fund Heating Up

Texas, like many other states, is proposing billions of dollars in cuts to help close a budget gap. But as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, one thing Texas has that nobody else does is $9 billion in a piggy bank called the Rainy Day Fund — and lawmakers are divided over whether to crack it open.