House Speaker Fires Back After Lieutenant Governor Threatens to Force Special Session

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, presiding officer of the Texas Senate and self-styled “bold” leader, today threatened to block must-pass bills and force a special session of the Legislature if his own priorities are not enacted before the regular session ends May 29. Patrick devoted a morning press conference to blasting House Speaker Joe Straus for […]

School Finance, Pension Hazard, Educator Misconduct

School Finance:  HB 21, the new school-finance bill filed by House Public Education Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston), is drawing broad support from groups that often have been at odds over the allocation of school funding. Groups representing high-wealth and low-wealth school districts alike endorsed Huberty’s proposal for an increase of $1.6 billion in state […]

Your Voice: Use It or Lose It!

Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 510 eliminate payroll deduction for most public employees, including teachers and other school personnel, nurses, correctional officers, child protection workers, and other public-sector workers at the state and local level. Learn the facts here, then stand up for you rights!

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 […]