Tribpedia: Public School Funding In Texas

Texas public schools are funded by federal funds, state funds and local school district property taxes. The amount of state and local funds are determined by the Foundation School Program, a state program administered by the Texas Education Agency.

The program is responsible for ensuring that all public school districts receive equal access to funding per student regardless of the ...

Weekend Insider: Cruz and the Supreme Court; Schools Explorer

Graduation rates in Texas public schools have been on the rise, particularly in large districts like Houston, Dallas and Austin. Track stats for any public school in Texas with the Tribune’s new Public Schools Explorer.

Aman Batheja, who is on the road to cover the Republican U.S. Senate runoff campaign, talks about Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general. Cruz argued before the U.S. Supreme Court more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. His work before the nation's highest judicial body serves as the cornerstone of his U.S. Senate campaign, in which he portrays himself as a “fighter" for the U.S. Constitution.

Find these stories in the weekend editions of The New York Times and at

Texas Schools Foot Big Bill for STAAR Retakes

The school year ended the first week of June for most Texas students, but for many of them, it won’t mean the end of class. A new state requirement that students must retake standardized tests if they do not achieve a minimum score has landed hundreds of thousands in summer school, carrying a hefty price tag for school districts.

Primary a Mixed Bag for Public Education Candidates

Rep. Rob Eissler’s defeat — following the exit of his vice chairman Scott Hochberg, his Senate counterpart Florence Shapiro and three other key lawmakers on the House Public Education Committee — signals a change in leadership on education issues next session. But some in the education community aren’t exactly trembling at that prospect.

Progress Texas Report: Virtual Schools Failing

A report out today from Progress Texas blasts virtual schools for high dropout rates and student-teacher ratios and low academic performance, but conservative the supporters on the program argue that the schools have academic potential and could save Texas money as it faces a likely budget shortfall in the 2013 legislative session.

After Wilmer-Hutchins ISD is Closed, Signs of Rebirth

Plagued by financial and academic troubles, Wilmer-Hutchins ISD was closed by the state six years ago. Now, the area appears to be on the verge of academic transformation, with three new Dallas ISD campuses — among them, a new high school that is drawing interest from students across the district and even beyond its boundaries.

Tribweek Friday, April 6th.
Tribweek Friday, April 6th.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/2/12

The first two parts of M. Smith's series on failing school districts (plus Murphy and Seger's interactive on how districts' characteristics relate to ratings), Root on lagging GOP candidates for president trying to shore things up in Texas, Ramshaw on a "fiscal switcheroo" to get federal money for women's health programs, Galbraith talks to a West Texas farmer about crop insurance and climate change and Aguilar on the money behind a lawsuit on long rifle sales: The best of our best content from April 2 to 6, 2012.

Texas School District Lives On, But So Do Its Struggles

North Forest ISD has gotten what amounts to a stay of execution, as the Texas Education Agency has given the district a year to address financial and academic troubles. The district had been marked for closure. But the question of whether North Forest students would be better off attending different schools still lingers.

Weekend Insider: Workers Comp, Houston School Closure

Unlike other states, Texas doesn't require employers to subscribe to its workers compensation program. Walmart, along with other large companies, recently decided to opt-out of workers compensation and hired a company to handle injury claims. Workers' rights advocates say the company plans can be unfair to employees, but businesses argue they serve workers well and help reduce costs.

Houston's North Forest Independent School District has a 30-year history of troubled finances and poor academic performance. Now, with the threat of closure, the community appears to have rallied around its schools. But, the support may be too late.

Find these stories and more in this weekend's editions of the The New York Times and at

Alex Train's first grade classroom only had 22 students at the beginning of the year, but has added two more since at Wanke Elementary School in north San Antonio, Friday, March 9, 2012.
Alex Train's first grade classroom only had 22 students at the beginning of the year, but has added two more since at Wanke Elementary School in north San Antonio, Friday, March 9, 2012.

Texas Schools Cope as Classes Expand and Staffs Shrink

As state spending contracted in the 2011-12 school year, classroom sizes ballooned. Data from the Texas Education Agency show that the number of elementary classes across the state with more than 22 students grew to 8,479 from 2,238 last year. And the fastest-growing school districts have been hit the hardest by larger classes.

Weekend Insider: Class Sizes, Groundwater Limits

In this edition of the Texas Tribune Weekend Insider: Texas elementary school classes are getting bigger while the number of educators is getting smaller. Morgan Smith looks at how teachers are trying to manage. And Kate Galbraith visits West Texas, where some farmers are frustrated with restrictions put on their groundwater use.

Four-Year Graduation Rates Lag, But Do They Matter?

The four-year graduation rates at Texas' public universities are staggeringly low. State officials acknowledge the numbers are dismal and are working to improve them. But not all higher ed leaders buy into the notion that such metrics matter.