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 ...

Texas House Passes School Testing Bill

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.

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.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Mar. 14, 2011

Grissom on threats to re-entry programs for criminals, Hamilton on the tempest over the direction of UT, E. Smith's interview with Joe Straus, Stiles and Chang's new lobbying app, M. Smith and Weber on where state officeholders send their children to school, Aaronson on allowing new nuclear power plants, Aguilar on how Hispanic Republicans are handling immigration issues, Ramshaw talks abortion with Planned Parennthood's Cecile Richards, Tan and Dehn on tapping the Rainy Day Fund and Galbraith on San Antonio and its water: The best of our best content from March 14 to 18, 2011.

A protester's sign asks for a tax increase to fund Texas public education at the Save Our Schools rally on March 12, 2011.
A protester's sign asks for a tax increase to fund Texas public education at the Save Our Schools rally on March 12, 2011.

Lawmakers Weigh Public Schools Against Budget Cuts

Legislators have to choose between mobs — one under the Gadsden Flag with the snake and motto “Don’t Tread on Me”, the other a recent phenomenon under signs like, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

Young boy protests school budget cuts during the Texas American Federation of Teachers rally at the Capitol. March 14th, 2011.
Young boy protests school budget cuts during the Texas American Federation of Teachers rally at the Capitol. March 14th, 2011.

Slideshow: Fighting for Public Education Funding

The past few days have seen thousands of students, educators and parents at the Texas Capitol to protest the budget cuts they say will do long-term harm to Texas students. Here are some images of the action. 

State Board of Education member-elect Thomas Ratliffe speaks to a special hearing on history at the Capitol Extension.
State Board of Education member-elect Thomas Ratliffe speaks to a special hearing on history at the Capitol Extension.

DA OKs SBOE Member's Lobby Connections

The Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit has concluded Thomas Ratliff has not committed a crime in serving on the State Board of Education while employed as a lobbyist.

Lorenzo Martinez giving out hand wipes to his friends after lunch.
Lorenzo Martinez giving out hand wipes to his friends after lunch.

Parents Push for Statewide Food Allergy Guidelines

  • 1Comment

Beth Martinez, who saved her young son's life after an allergic reaction to something he ate, has joined with other parents across the state to support bills they say would help schools deal with an increasing number of students with food allergies.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/7/11

Conversations about the coming Hispanic majority and the 82nd session from our New Day Rising symposium, M. Smith on the latest tort reform battle, Galbraith on greater scrutiny of the gas industry, Ramsey on whether lawmakers will cut their own pay and benefits, Ramshaw and Aguilar on what's holding up abortion sonogram legislation, Aguilar on the ag commissioner's controversial new website, Philpott on what $9.8 billion in public education cuts looks like, Hamilton on a snippy exchange of higher ed letters and Grissom on the latest court decision in the Hank Skinner case: The best of our best content from March 7 to 11, 2011.