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 Take Up Bullying Bills

Asher Brown took his own life on Sept. 23, 2010 after bullies at school tormented him. He was 13 years old.
Asher Brown took his own life on Sept. 23, 2010 after bullies at school tormented him. He was 13 years old.

At Tuesday's Senate Education Committee hearing on a trio of anti-bullying bills, the parents of children who committed suicide after being picked on by classmates asked lawmakers to fix a system they say failed their families.

SSNs of Laredo ISD Students Missing In Data Breach

A disk holding the Social Security numbers of thousands of current and former students in the Laredo Independent School District — a total of 24,903 — has gone missing, according to the Texas Education Agency. TEA officials say they first learned of the possible security breach in January, when the University of Texas at Dallas contacted them looking for sensitive data university researchers had requested from Laredo ISD. That data, which was supposed to be delivered to the TEA first, never made it to the agency.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar. 14, 2011

Grissom on threats to re-entry programs for criminals, Hamilton on the tempest over the direction of UT, E. Smith's interview with Joe Straus, Stiles and Chang's new lobbying app, M. Smith and Weber on where state officeholders send their children to school, Aaronson on allowing new nuclear power plants, Aguilar on how Hispanic Republicans are handling immigration issues, Ramshaw talks abortion with Planned Parennthood's Cecile Richards, Tan and Dehn on tapping the Rainy Day Fund and Galbraith on San Antonio and its water: The best of our best content from March 14 to 18, 2011.

A protester's sign asks for a tax increase to fund Texas public education at the Save Our Schools rally on March 12, 2011.
A protester's sign asks for a tax increase to fund Texas public education at the Save Our Schools rally on March 12, 2011.

Lawmakers Weigh Public Schools Against Budget Cuts

Texas legislators have to choose between mobs. One group has gathered several times over the last two years under the Gadsden Flag — the yellow one with the snake and the motto “Don’t Tread on Me.” The other is a more recent phenomenon and gathers under signs that say things like, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

Protesters gathered at the Capitol to support a ban on corporal punishment.
Protesters gathered at the Capitol to support a ban on corporal punishment.

Update: Protesters Gather Against Paddling

Some small school districts in Texas still paddle poorly behaving students, and protestors at the Capitol today said they want the swatting to stop. They urged lawmakers to outlaw the use of corporal punishment like 30 other states have done. 

Young boy protests school budget cuts during the Texas American Federation of Teachers rally at the Capitol. March 14th, 2011.
Young boy protests school budget cuts during the Texas American Federation of Teachers rally at the Capitol. March 14th, 2011.

Slideshow: Fighting for Public Education Funding

The past few days have seen thousands of students, educators and parents at the Texas Capitol to protest the budget cuts they say will do long-term harm to Texas students. Here are some images of the action. 

State Board of Education member-elect Thomas Ratliffe speaks to a special hearing on history at the Capitol Extension.
State Board of Education member-elect Thomas Ratliffe speaks to a special hearing on history at the Capitol Extension.

DA OKs SBOE Member's Lobby Connections

 

The Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit has concluded Thomas Ratliff has not committed a crime in serving on the State Board of Education while employed as a lobbyist.

Lorenzo Martinez giving out hand wipes to his friends after lunch.
Lorenzo Martinez giving out hand wipes to his friends after lunch.

Parents Push for Statewide Food Allergy Guidelines

  • 1Comment

Beth Martinez, who saved her young son's life after an allergic reaction to something he ate, has joined with other parents across the state to support bills they say would help schools deal with an increasing number of students with food allergies.

Governor Rick Perry book signing at the Dell Diamond
Governor Rick Perry book signing at the Dell Diamond

Who Will Be Blamed for Big Cuts in School Funding?

Relocating the blame for public education cuts isn’t going to be an easy sales job. The school districts are simultaneously losing money from both of their main sources of revenue — state financing and revenue from local property taxes. And while many have money in the bank, their immediate financial futures aren’t promising.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/7/11

Conversations about the coming Hispanic majority and the 82nd session from our New Day Rising symposium, M. Smith on the latest tort reform battle, Galbraith on greater scrutiny of the gas industry, Ramsey on whether lawmakers will cut their own pay and benefits, Ramshaw and Aguilar on what's holding up abortion sonogram legislation, Aguilar on the ag commissioner's controversial new website, Philpott on what $9.8 billion in public education cuts looks like, Hamilton on a snippy exchange of higher ed letters and Grissom on the latest court decision in the Hank Skinner case: The best of our best content from March 7 to 11, 2011.

New Day Rising: The Changing Public Policy Landscape

At the Tribune's New Day Rising symposium on Feb. 28, four public policy experts — Talmadge Helfin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Rebecca Bernhardt of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Jerel Booker of Stand for Children Texas and Eva DeLuna Castro of the Center for Public Policy Priorities — talked about criminal justice, education, health care and other issues that will be impacted by the coming Hispanic majority.

State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, speaks to the press about two school finance measures filed on March 8, 2011
State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, speaks to the press about two school finance measures filed on March 8, 2011

What $9.8 Billion in Texas School Cuts Looks Like

School districts won't know exactly what nearly $10 billion in state cuts means to them until lawmakers pass a new school finance bill. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune takes a look at the first bill of the session that gives districts an idea of what to expect.

State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, discusses the details of two school finance measures on March 8, 2011.
State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, discusses the details of two school finance measures on March 8, 2011.

What $9.8 Billion in Texas School Cuts Looks Like

School districts won't know exactly what nearly $10 billion in state cuts means to them until lawmakers pass a new school finance bill. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune takes a look at the first bill of the session that gives districts an idea of what to expect.

Lucio: High School Athletes at Risk

State Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-San Benito, voiced concern for the safety of high school athletes to a House Committee on Tuesday afternoon. "I saw a few heartbreaking stories … on high school athletes that had stellar careers ahead of them," said Lucio, who has filed two bills on athletic safety.

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.

Senators Debate Productivity Center, Class Size

 

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."