Morgan Smith — Click for higher resolution staff photos

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas. A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.

Recent Contributions

A study released by Sam Houston State University in October 2013 that was commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association showed a marked increase in teachers reporting that they had taken second jobs during the school year to make ends meet. Bob Daemmrich

As Teacher Pay Lags, Attrition, Class Size Grow

Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state spends less than most others, and its students perform better than many. But the commitment to fiscal restraint has come with its own burdens for teachers.

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Dan Patrick (l) in Salado, Tex., and David Dewhurst in Austin. Steve Moakley / Todd Wiseman

Conservative Candidates Ride Out Hard Hits

In three statewide Republican runoff races, candidates who have aligned themselves to the right of their opponents are poised to capture the party's nomination despite fielding significant blows from their opponents, including forays into mental health records from three decades ago and a potentially disqualifying violation of state securities law.  

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