The Week Ahead at the Capitol: Budget, Charter Schools, and More

The state budget takes center stage at the Capitol in Austin during the week ahead. The Senate is expected to vote March 28 on its budget bill, SB 1. This bill leaves much to be desired. It will cut higher education significantly–as much as 10 percent at some institutions of higher learning. For public schools […]

State House and Senate Differ Markedly on Budget for Schools

The Texas Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday approved a draft 2018-19 budget (SB 1) that would let per-pupil funding for public schools stagnate, keeping the basic allotment for all districts at the same level as in 2016. Under the Senate plan, the state would actually reduce the amount of state general revenue for schools substantially, […]

Committee Vote Coming Up on Fox in the Pension Henhouse; School Finance and Property Tax News

Committee Vote Coming Up on Fox in the Pension Henhouse: The Senate Nominations Committee is due to act March 16 on a State Pension Review Board appointee known for his criticism of guaranteed pension benefits. Josh McGee, Gov. Greg Abbott’s choice to chair the Review Board, is a functionary of the Houston-based Arnold Foundation that […]

Texas AFT Members and Allies Rally for Lobby Day at State Capitol

More than 2,000 Texas AFT members and allies from across Texas rallied on the front steps of the Texas Capitol Monday and brought their strong grass-roots presence to bear in scores of visits with individual legislators. They came together in support of a strong, proactive agenda for public education and the schoolchildren and higher-ed students […]

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 […]

House Initiative to Improve School Finance Gets Under Way

House Public Education Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston) on Monday filed the House leadership’s initial plan to improve school finance for the coming biennium. The bill is HB 21 (the low number signals it’s a leadership priority), and House rules were suspended so that the bill can be heard on Tuesday, March 7, in Huberty’s […]

Week in Review and Week Ahead at the State Capitol

The Texas House has begun moving toward a vote to use the Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) to cover shortfalls in state funding for key state services. This welcome first step was taken today with filing of HB 2, the supplemental appropriations bill by budget committee chair John Zerwas (R-Richmond), […]

Notable Gleanings from House Education Hearings This Week?

Catching you up on some telling points made in Texas House hearings on education matters this week, we note the following: In the House Appropriations subcommittee on education funding on Monday, Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) spotlighted the fact that funding for standardized testing is not slated for any reduction in the Texas Education Agency […]

Texas House Public Education Committee Sets Priorities

The first meeting of the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday afforded some insight into the educational priorities on the House side of the Texas Capitol rotunda. Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston) said hearings next week and the week following will focus on school finance, with the goal of passing a major rewrite on the […]