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.
A House Public Education Committee hearing became heated Tuesday when Chairman Dan Huberty had a harsh exchange with a witness speaking against a bill that would let high school students who fail required state tests graduate, with the approval of a special committee.
A Senate committee passed the House’s major school finance reform bill, after adding a controversial provision subsidizing private school tuition for special needs students — a move unlikely to go over well in the House.
With a major bill for students with disabilities flying to the governor's desk, special education advocates are looking ahead to smaller bills that might not survive the upcoming deadlines for legislation to pass.
House Bill 1335 by Rep. Ron Simmons would give students with disabilities online accounts of state money to use for private school tuition and certain homeschooling expenses, such as textbooks and curricula.
In a preliminary vote, the House approved Rep. Dan Huberty's bill to inject $1.6 billion into public schools and simplify complicated funding formulas. Legislators must still take a final vote on the bill.
The Senate Education Committee discussed a bill that would radically simplify the state's school finance formula, stripping it of some antiquated provisions. Parents and educators who testified wanted a few new provisions added in.
The Senate Education Committee is considering extending a decade-old state aid program for small, vulnerable school districts that depend on it for vital operations. The program is set to expire in September.
As lawmakers debate possible reforms to the school finance system this week, they might decide whether to continue offering extra funds to districts like Texas City ISD, which last year was forced to annex a struggling district next to it.
Five transgender Texans explained to The Texas Tribune what goes into making decisions about using public restrooms, including considerations for the comfort of others and reflections on how strangers perceive their gender.