is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.
Changing the way public schools are funded is hard even when everyone agrees on the problem. But Texas lawmakers will first have to figure out if they're aiming to lower property taxes, increase spending on public education — or just change how the money is distributed.
The faraway 2020 presidential election is already underway, and it's got a distinct Texas air to it, with Democratic Party rising stars Julián Castro of San Antonio and Beto O'Rourke of El Paso deciding whether to run.
Between the general election results and the changing management of the Texas House — where Joe Straus is retiring and Dennis Bonnen is poised to be the next speaker — the state government is getting a reboot.
Lawmakers looking to realign the state's public school finances while also cutting local property taxes can't do both without a lot of money. They don't want to raise taxes, but they have nearly $60 billion in annual tax exemptions that might provide a solution.