started as the public education reporter in October 2016. She came to the Tribune from the hyperlocal nonprofit New Haven Independent, where she covered education, zoning and transit for two years. After graduating from Yale University in 2013, she spent a year freelance reporting in Panama on social issues affecting black Panamanian communities. A native New Yorker, Aliyya misses public transportation but is thrilled by the lack of snow.
Days before the special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick rolled out a specific plan to give retired and long-term teachers up to $1,000 in additional bonuses, using money from the Texas Lottery over the long-term.
Superintendents in hundreds of Texas school districts rely on a pot of state funds that expires in September. Without drastic cost-saving measures, some districts are worried they may have to shut down.
The Senate and House negotiated a compromise on how to tweak a statewide plan for grading schools and districts. Educators and advocates are asking why the overhaul happened so late, without their official input.
Gov. Greg Abbott demanded the House and Senate fund his pre-K grant program holding school districts to quality standards. So they came up with a budget proposal that keeps the standards, but cuts the grants.
The Texas Senate voted to approve a bill that would simplify funding formulas for public schools and let parents use state money to send their kids with disabilities to private schools or pay for homeschooling.
The Texas Senate will consider a version of the school finance bill, as soon as Sunday, that now includes an assortment of other House and Senate education bills — according to a notice Senate staffers received Saturday.
Rep. Helen Giddings failed a third time to pass a bill that would prevent school districts from identifying students without money in their school lunch accounts — again when a member of the Freedom Caucus killed it.