Tribpedia: Public Education

More tax dollars are spent on public education than on any other governmental program in the state. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state, local, and federal revenue, a system that has produced inequities among the state's 1,030 traditional school districts and 207 charter operators.

As of 2010, more than 4 ...

The Texas House of Representatives continues the budget debate into the late afternoon Thursday on April 6, 2017.
<p><span>The Texas House of Representatives continues the budget debate into the late afternoon Thursday on April 6, 2017.</span></p>

Watch as the Texas House debates school finance bill

We're livestreaming as the Texas House debates legislation aimed at boosting per-student funding for almost every school district and charter in the state.

Nicholas Nunez, 4, sits with his mother, Elizabeth Trejo, while he receives his shots at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on August 30, 2013.
Nicholas Nunez, 4, sits with his mother, Elizabeth Trejo, while he receives his shots at the Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County in Fort Worth on August 30, 2013.

Texas parents fear being outed for seeking vaccine exemptions

Under House Bill 2249, the state would require reports on the number of vaccine exemptions at each public school. But parents say it could make it easier for people to publicly shame them for not vaccinating their children. 

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, gives his opinion on higher education issues during a Texas Tribune event on April 4, 2017. &nbsp;Seliger is chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.&nbsp;
<p>State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, gives his opinion on higher education issues during a Texas Tribune event on April 4, 2017. &nbsp;Seliger is chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.&nbsp;</p>

Senate panel weighs alternate graduation route for students who fail exams

The Texas Senate Education Committee heard Tuesday from supporters, and a few critics, of a bill that would make permanent a 2015 law that allows students to graduate even if they haven't passed their required exams by going before a graduation committee.

Children from charter and private schools all over Texas turned out for this legislative session's National School Choice Rally on January 24, 2017.
Children from charter and private schools all over Texas turned out for this legislative session's National School Choice Rally on January 24, 2017.

Here’s what the Texas school choice bill means in plain English

Despite lobbying from Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the leading private school choice bill of the session is facing strong resistance in the Texas House. We've updated our annotation of Senate Bill 3 to reflect the version that passed out of the Senate.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.

Dan Patrick asked for a House vote on school choice. He got it.

Top House education official Dan Huberty has said private school choice is dead in the House. Representatives showed they overwhelmingly support that sentiment, in a 103-44 budget amendment vote.

Kara DaRocha of Houston was among several parents who attended The Texas Tribune's roundtable discussion event on public education at the University of Houston-Downtown.&nbsp;DaRocha urged legislators to reach out to their constituents.&nbsp;&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t always go to them, especially if we don&rsquo;t live in Austin,&rdquo; DaRocha said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s just not a realistic expectation for many of us parents.&rdquo;
<p dir="ltr"><span>Kara DaRocha of Houston was among several parents who attended The Texas Tribune's roundtable discussion event on public education at the University of Houston-Downtown.&nbsp;</span><span>DaRocha urged legislators to reach out to their constituents.&nbsp;</span>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t always go to them, especially if we don&rsquo;t live in Austin,&rdquo; DaRocha said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s just not a realistic expectation for many of us parents.&rdquo;</p>

Four things Texans want the Legislature to know about special education

Last month, The Texas Tribune asked parents and educators what they think lawmakers should do before the Legislature adjourns. Here’s what they said.

Road crews were prolific in the Midland region in 2016 following an oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.
<p>Road crews were prolific in the Midland region in 2016 following an oil boom, when heavy truck traffic obliterated highways.</p>

Analysis: Is this Texas state budget trick constitutional?

The Texas Senate is proposing a new accounting trick to balance its 2018-19 budget. The contrivance would work, mathematically speaking, but it raises constitutional questions and faces derision from the House.

State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, at a House Education Committee meeting on March 7, 2017.
State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, at a House Education Committee meeting on March 7, 2017.

School leaders welcome proposed changes to A-F system

During a House Public Education Committee hearing, education experts and activists testified on legislation related to the state's A-F accountability system for public schools and districts.

State Rep. Dan Huberty (left), R-Houston, and state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood.
State Rep. Dan Huberty (left), R-Houston, and state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood.

Education committee chairs push major edits to A-F ratings for schools

House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty and Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor filed bills to help make the A-F accountability system more palatable to educators, who say grading their schools won't help them serve students better.

A large crowd of transgender advocates opposed to SB 6 the bathroom bill converge on the Capitol Extension Rotunda during the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on the bill March 7, 2017.
A large crowd of transgender advocates opposed to SB 6 the bathroom bill converge on the Capitol Extension Rotunda during the Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on the bill March 7, 2017.

Analysis: A week to test local powers in Texas

The Texas Legislature is going to be busy this week with issues that ordinarily belong to other governments, as it considers the wisdom of local ordinances on restrooms, ride-hailing, short-term rentals, sanctuary cities and plastic bags.

State Rep. and Public Education Chairman Dan Huberty, R-Houston, speaks at a press conference unveiling the school finance bill on March 6, 2017.
State Rep. and Public Education Chairman Dan Huberty, R-Houston, speaks at a press conference unveiling the school finance bill on March 6, 2017.

Analysis: The Texas Legislature giveth — and taketh away

Local governments and school districts battling the Texas Legislature over property taxes have a couple of things in common: They want local control over taxes and a more reliable partner in the state government.