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

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled in February 2014 that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional. Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas School Finance Trial Goes for Round Two

After hearing brief arguments on whether to reopen evidence in the school finance case because of laws passed during the legislative session, state district court Judge John Dietz announced Wednesday that a new, six-week trial will begin in January.

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Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Complaint Targets Process Used by Truancy Court

A complaint being filed with the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to declare that a Dallas County court’s process of prosecuting truancy as a crime is unconstitutional. But officials in the county say the initiative has been a model of success.

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District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional. Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Whatever Became of That School Finance Ruling?

It’s now June, and there is still no final decision in the sweeping lawsuit involving more than two-thirds of Texas school districts that arose after the Legislature eliminated roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011.

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