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 ...

Is Poverty the Key Factor in Student Outcomes?

Michael Marder, the co-director of the University of Texas' UTeach program, which trains secondary school math and science teachers, looks at public education data and explains the significance of poverty, why he thinks charter schools are not necessarily the answer and how public education is like a Boeing airplane.

Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 28, 2011.
Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 28, 2011.

Senate OKs Teacher Evaluations

The Senate passed a bill today designed to ensure that all public school educators make the grade — by creating a teacher evaluation system. 

State Rep. Borris Miles (l), D-Houston, raises a point of order on HB400 the education bill sponsored by State Rep. Rob Eissler (r), R-The Woodlands, on April 26, 2011.
State Rep. Borris Miles (l), D-Houston, raises a point of order on HB400 the education bill sponsored by State Rep. Rob Eissler (r), R-The Woodlands, on April 26, 2011.

Technicality Slays House Bill on Class Sizes — for Now

The House was set to debate a bill that would scrap a 27-year-old law mandating a 22-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade today — but before it got the chance, state Rep. Borris Miles, D-Houston, derailed the legislation with a point of order.

Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.
Carol Strayhorn announces for governor, June, 2005.

A Texas-Sized Budget Problem Deferred — to Now

The 2006 tax swap — lowering local school property taxes and creating a new business tax to make up the difference — is at the center of Texas' current budget troubles. The architects are still pointing fingers over what and whom to blame for the state's “structural deficit.”

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (L), R-Angleton, has words with state Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, during debate on Eissler's HB500 on April 6, 2011.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen (L), R-Angleton, has words with state Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, during debate on Eissler's HB500 on April 6, 2011.

Texas House Passes School Testing Bill

A bill from state Rep. Rob Eissler modifying how end-of-course exams factor into graduation led House Republicans into a debate over how best to handle student testing during what one called "extraordinary times" in public education.

State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi.
State Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston, at the 2010 Texas Democratic Convention in Corpus Christi.

House Committee Tackles School Finance

On the heels of a newly approved House budget that leaves public schools $7.8 billion short of what they're entitled to under current funding formulas, the House Public Education Committee today considered a round of school finance bills.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, speaks with Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, on the House floor during the budget debate.
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, speaks with Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, on the House floor during the budget debate.

House Budget Shrinks Spending, Slashes Services

The Texas House started with a $164.5 billion budget and ended with the same total. But lawmakers spent the better part of a weekend making changes inside the budget for 2012-13 before giving it their approval, 98 to 49.

Students at Austin Discovery School work on a project at the Texas charter school on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011.
Students at Austin Discovery School work on a project at the Texas charter school on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011.

Lawmakers Want Fewer Tickets for Students

Last year, Texas police issued 300,000 students for offenses like chewing gum, truancy and cursing. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee today discussed a bill that would mean far fewer citations for youngsters in schools. 

Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, speaks to the press on Senate support for Texas teachers and classrooms on March 23, 2011.
Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, speaks to the press on Senate support for Texas teachers and classrooms on March 23, 2011.

Senate Finance Adds $5.7 Billion for Public Ed

Senators tried to improve the funding picture for public education on Thursday when the Senate Finance Committee voted 13-2 to add $5.7 billion to its initial proposal. But that's still about a $4 billion reduction from current levels.

Asher Brown took his own life on Sept. 23, 2010 after bullies at school tormented him. He was 13 years old.
Asher Brown took his own life on Sept. 23, 2010 after bullies at school tormented him. He was 13 years old.

Senators Take Up Bullying Bills

At Tuesday's Senate Education Committee hearing on a trio of anti-bullying bills, the parents of children who committed suicide after being picked on by classmates asked lawmakers to fix a system they say failed their families.