Your Voice: Use It or Lose It!

Write Your Lawmakers Now Here! Be Connected Directly to Your State Senator Here More Facts About HB 510 and SB 13 Here Your voice is crucial to improving public education and the teaching profession. Your voice has helped stop bad ideas to privatize public education through private-school vouchers and take away secure pensions. Frankly, they […]

Governor’s “State of the State” Misses the Mark on School Funding, Vouchers, and Employee Voice

By constitutional design, the Texas governorship is a comparatively weak executive position, with only modest direct authority to govern the state. But one power the governor does have is to designate certain legislation as an emergency item, eligible for early action during the biennial legislative session. And today Gov. Greg Abbott exercised that authority to […]

Gov. Abbott Announces Priorities in Upcoming “State of the State” Speech

On January 31 Gov. Greg Abbott will give his State of the State address to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate, outlining his priorities and likely designating matters he considers emergencies, a step that allows the Legislature to vote on them within the first 60 days of the session (i.e., before March […]

Pro-Voucher Rally at Capitol Does Not Alter the Facts

Today pro-voucher forces, joined by Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, rallied at the state Capitol in support of legislation that would undermine public education by transferring state taxpayer dollars to private schools subject to minimal if not zero academic and financial accountability. Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro commented: When the governor and […]

A Skirmish in the Battle over the Proper Role of State Tests

The final meeting of the Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability revealed unresolved tensions among its members’ competing visions of the future of state testing. The members, appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Straus, were unable to reach consensus on an explicit rejection of high-stakes testing […]

Political Choices, Not Oil Prices, Dictate Shape of State Budget

You’ve probably heard news reports that state oil revenues are down and that the state budget must be trimmed in response. Texas may indeed be in for a bout of budgetary stringency, but the real causes lie elsewhere. The best account we’ve seen of what’s really going on comes from independent budget analyst Eva DeLuna […]

Gov. Abbott Glibly Dismisses Need for Increased Education Funding

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is on tour selling his new book, but at his Midland book-signing event he made some off-topic remarks on school funding that raised eyebrows. Abbott dismissed the need for increased educational funding and celebrated the May 13 decision of the state supreme court that upheld the current state funding scheme against […]

The Case of United States v. Texas

The Case of United States v. Texas Since 2001, Texas law has authorized in-state tuition eligibility for college students who were brought to Texas as children without immigration authorization. The 2001 legislation was signed by then-Gov. Rick Perry with bipartisan support, because it made sense to lawmakers to recognize that these students have put down […]

The Digital Divide in Texas Public Schools

The potential benefits of online access for Texas schoolchildren are widely acknowledged. But those benefits cannot be realized for many students because they lack access to the Internet. Now there’s increasing talk of doing something to rectify that inequity. The question is whether the talk will lead to meaningful action. At the state level, Gov. […]

State School-Finance Lawsuit: Blaming the Messenger and Rigging the Rules to Get Desired Results?

Last spring lawmakers passed a bill requiring school-finance cases to be handled in a new way by Texas courts. Under Senate Bill 455, the attorney general can force the referral of legal challenges to the school-funding system into the hands of a three-judge panel appointed by the state’s chief justice. The measure means that such […]