Tribpedia: Texas Public Policy Foundation

Tribpedia

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is a conservative, non-profit think tank based in Austin founded by James Leininger in 1989.

The foundation conducts research to promote free-market policies among Texas lawmakers and to influence the public policy debate in the state, according to its Web site. The foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit.

The foundation's 2008 ...

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Swelling Districts Find Costly Way to Grow Campuses

Leander ISD's Whitestone Elementary School, shown on Aug. 21, 2014, has six portable classrooms to help with increased student enrollment.  District officials say If the district couldn't use capital appreciation bonds to borrow money, it would have to put more students in portables.
Leander ISD's Whitestone Elementary School, shown on Aug. 21, 2014, has six portable classrooms to help with increased student enrollment. District officials say If the district couldn't use capital appreciation bonds to borrow money, it would have to put more students in portables.

Leander and other fast-growing school districts have relied heavily on a controversial financing tool called capital appreciation bonds to borrow money to expand even as they bump up against state limits on school district debt.

Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.
Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

Admissions Investigation Preceded by Years of Tension

A recent announcement that the University of Texas System will commission an external investigation into the admissions process at the University of Texas at Austin is only the latest chapter in an ongoing, tension-filled saga. 

Surplus Projections Ignite a Familiar Debate

With expectations that state lawmakers will have a budget surplus of several billion dollars, lawmakers, activists and business groups are already discussing what to do with the money. While some are arguing for tax relief, others say the state has unmet needs in transportation and education that need to be addressed.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.

Abbott, Davis Go After the Education Vote Differently

The two leading candidates for governor are making education a talking point in their campaigns. Attorney General Greg Abbott is exploring charter schools and virtual learning, while state Sen. Wendy Davis is focused on teacher recruitment.

State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, makes a point at Triblive on March 21, 2013.
State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, makes a point at Triblive on March 21, 2013.

Turner to Renew Battle Against College Grade Inflation

The push to curb grade inflation at Texas public colleges and universities will be back in the next legislative session, state Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, said Wednesday. He was part of a conference on the rise of top grades in higher education: In 1960, 15 percent of grades were "A's." Now, it's 43 percent.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst answer questions from the media after a series of education bill signings on June 10, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst answer questions from the media after a series of education bill signings on June 10, 2013.

Amid Criticism, Perry Defends State Budget

Gov. Rick Perry is pushing back against  conservative critics who say the state budget is growing too fast. Perry is still analyzing the legislation, but his strong defense of it was the clearest signal yet that he plans to sign the two-year, $197 billion appropriations bill into law.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury on Sept. 5, 2012.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury on Sept. 5, 2012.

Standardized Test Proposal for Texas Colleges Stalls

Thomas Lindsay, the director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Center for Higher Education, hoped that Texas might become one of the first states to mandate the use of the Collegiate Learning Assessment at all of its universities. But that dream will have to wait, because the proposal appears unlikely to get anywhere this session.

UT Regents Back Some Tuition Hikes, New Med Schools

Tuition will go up next year for most students in the University of Texas System, after the Board of Regents voted today to approve increases. They also voted to freeze in-state tuition for UT-Austin undergraduates, but they approved increases for non-residents and all graduate students. 

Texas Group Decries "Avalanche" of EPA Rules

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation on Monday renewed its criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency as it released a report citing an "avalanche" of forthcoming rules on air pollution. Environmentalists acknowledge the air in Texas has been getting cleaner, but say things still have far to go.

UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.
UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.

A Fight Outlasts the Proposal that Sparked It

Texas Weekly

 A recurring theme questioned the status quo of the boards that govern higher education at this week’s day-long meeting of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency: Are the boards that govern higher education due for more restrictive conflict-of-interest policies?