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 ...

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.

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 Campaign: Pre-K Plan Does Not Mean More Tests

After questions were raised about language in a policy proposal that appears to call for the biannual testing of pre-kindergarten students, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s campaign is clarifying his early education plan, saying he is not calling for such tests.

 

SBOE May Get Private Funds to See Out-of-State Charters

A proposal under consideration by the Texas State Board of Education would allow private foundations to pay for elected officials on the 15-member board to visit out-of-state charter schools whose applications they approve. Critics say private funds shouldn't pay for any part of a process used to evaluate whether charters should receive taxpayer money. 

Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.
Some officeholders have raised the idea of replacing Texas' property tax with a larger sales tax. But that could create some new fiscal challenges.

Sales Tax Plan Would Redefine School District Wealth

Replacing property taxes in Texas with sales taxes sounds simple, but would have huge consequences for the state's school districts and for other governments whose local control goes along with their property taxes. In politics, nothing is as simple as it sounds.

Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas

Analysis: On Education, Abbott Must Aim Carefully

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott says he's looking “to make Texas the No. 1 education system in the United States within 10 years.” He has to find a way to suggest improvements while not criticizing his ally Rick Perry.

Parc Smith, CEO of American YouthWorks, a dropout recovery charter school facing closure by the state, looks in a student locker.
Parc Smith, CEO of American YouthWorks, a dropout recovery charter school facing closure by the state, looks in a student locker.

Charter Serving High School Dropouts Fights Closure

As six charter schools face automatic closure under a new Texas law, the state is facing questions over the guidelines used to decide which schools to close — and whether the process unfairly handicaps schools that serve hard-to-reach students.