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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Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry after signing House Bill 5, an education reform bill, before a crowd in the Governor's Reception Room on June 10, 2013.

Perry Signs High School Curriculum, Testing Bill

Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 5 on Monday, ending weeks of speculation that he might veto the high-profile education legislation that adjusts high school graduation standards. The governor said the measure reflected an "appropriate balance between a need for rigorous academics and flexibility" and had "come a long way" to address the concerns of its critics.

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.

Whatever Became of That School Finance Ruling?

Texas Weekly

State District Court Judge John Dietz said in February that a detailed ruling on the state's school finance system would be released by mid-March. It’s now June, and there is still no final decision in the sweeping lawsuit involving more than two-thirds of Texas school districts that arose after the Legislature eliminated roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011.

83rd Lege's Regular Session: What Happened, What Didn't

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Lawmakers raced to get several bills passed before the 83rd Legislature's regular session ended. And with Monday's announcement of a special session, their work isn't done. Here's a look at the deals reached and the measures that fell short in the regular session. 

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.

Liveblog: What's Left for the 83rd Legislature

The clock is ticking for lawmakers hard at work to pass prize bills in the final days of the 83rd legislative session. Here's a look at what's still outstanding. Check back often: We'll update this story as deals are brokered or broken. 

 

Interactive: Track Public Education Donors

Whether they have a longstanding interest, like H-E-B CEO Charles Butt, or are branching into new territory, like Texans for Lawsuit Reform, some of the state's top political donors advocate for education issues. Use this interactive to track their contributions to the lawmakers who make decisions on policies affecting the 5 million students in Texas' public schools.

Efforts to Reform Teacher Evaluations in Texas Falter

Some critics of Texas' largely subjective state teacher evaluations want them to include more emphasis on objective measures of student performance like standardized exams. But efforts to change the system, which teachers themselves say is flawed, have hit a roadblock as lawmakers react to pressure to scale back state testing.

State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.
State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, during a state budget debate on March 20, 2013.

Guest Column: Let Voters Decide on Rainy Day Spending

The best way to finance Texas' pressing water and transportation needs — and to supplement spending on public education — is to let voters decide whether to use the state's Rainy Day Fund. The Senate has approved a proposal that would accomplish that; now it's up to the House.

Rachel Hebert, 17, and her mother, Elizabeth, were issued court summons after Rachel missed numerous days of school because of medical problems relating to her cerebral palsy.
Rachel Hebert, 17, and her mother, Elizabeth, were issued court summons after Rachel missed numerous days of school because of medical problems relating to her cerebral palsy.

Lawmakers Attempt to Change Truancy Laws

Some parents and advocacy organizations say the state’s truancy laws are too harsh. The Senate passed a bill last week to change these laws, compromising with judges and school district officials who feared the proposed changes were too broad.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/15/13

Aaronson tracks the latest on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on lawmakers’ openness to driving permits for non-citizens, Batheja on surprising support for higher state spending, Root and Galbraith on the state’s search for answers after the West explosion, M. Smith covers the debate over high school standards, Grissom finds a shadow payroll at the Capitol, Hamilton on the man with a plan at UT, Rocha spots a special deal for lawmakers accused of crimes, KUT’s Philpott on obstacles to road funding and Ramshaw on the privileges of legislative membership: The best of our best for the week of April 15-19, 2013.

Chris Perkins is a partner at the Republican polling firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.
Chris Perkins is a partner at the Republican polling firm Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.

Polling Center: Education No Magic Bullet for Democrats

A couple of Democrats won election in 2012 talking about education, but that doesn't mean the issue was a silver bullet for the minority party. Lots of others talked about it and lost, and the two who won were victorious in districts favorable to them.