EDUCATION

Senate Committee on Education Chairman Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood during a Aug 3, 2016 hearing
Senate Committee on Education Chairman Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood during a Aug 3, 2016 hearing

Texas Senate takes first step toward school finance overhaul

The Senate has tasked a new budget working group with coming up with ways to overhaul the state's school finance system. “The opportunity is huge for us to get it right,” said Jane Nelson, chairwoman of the Senate’s powerful Finance Committee. “We need a whole new method of school finance.”

Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.
Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.

Federal officials plan second round of investigation on Texas special ed

Continuing its investigation into whether Texas capped special education services, federal officials will visit Texas districts and schools the week of Feb. 27.

Federal officials plan second round of investigation on Texas special ed

Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.
Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.

Continuing its investigation into whether Texas capped special education services, federal officials will visit Texas districts and schools the week of Feb. 27.

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Data App: The Texas Public Schools Explorer

Expecting spike in special ed students, advocates push for better services

Jean Gearhart gives a tearful statement with her husband Troy Gearhart to the panel about her special needs child. U.S. Department of Education officials held a meeting in Edinburg on their tour of Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education.
Jean Gearhart gives a tearful statement with her husband Troy Gearhart to the panel about her special needs child. U.S. Department of Education officials held a meeting in Edinburg on their tour of Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education.

Texas is expected to increase the number of public school students receiving special education services, and disability rights advocates are aiming to improve the overall quality of those services.

Bills would continue graduation committees for students who failed STAAR

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston.
State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston.

State Sen. Kel Seliger and state Rep. Dan Huberty have filed bills that would keep individual graduation committees, which allow students to graduate even if they fail required exams. The law creating these committees will expire in September.

The Houston Endowment Inc., the Lumina Foundation, and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported higher education coverage at The Texas Tribune. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, RGK Foundation, Burdine Johnson Foundation, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported public education coverage at The Texas Tribune.

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DeRay McKesson on race and policy in the age of Trump (video)

H-E-B CEO Charles Butt pledges $100 million to public schools nonprofit

Ruth Simmons, who will chair the board of the newly announced Holdsworth Center, meets with Garza High School students on Jan. 17, 2017.
Ruth Simmons, who will chair the board of the newly announced Holdsworth Center, meets with Garza High School students on Jan. 17, 2017.

Touting a $100 million investment from H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt, public school officials on Tuesday announced the creation of the Holdsworth Center, a nonprofit organization that will work with school districts.

Race in Education in Texas (video)

Check out full video from our conversation on race and education at the Texas Tribune symposium on race. Panelists include former Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell and San Antonio ISD Assistant Superintendent Olivia Hernandez.