Topic: TEA

State Law on K-4 Class-Size Caps Has Not Changed

State Law on K-4 Class-Size Caps Unchanged:  One of the great policy successes for teachers and parents allied in defense of public education in the 2011 legislature was the preservation of K-4 class-size caps, after a six-month battle.  The law remains intact, but some school administrators around the state seem to be unaware that they did not gain any new...

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Belated Funding Allotments for Instructional Materials Available Now

You may have heard that the legislature this summer created a new funding system for textbooks and electronic instructional materials. Unfortunately, the legislative action left too little time for materials to be ordered in timely fashion for the new school year beginning in just a couple of weeks. The materials that need to be requisitioned for the coming school year...

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2011 “Adequate Yearly Progress” Ratings: Failure by Design

According to new ratings of Texas public schools that came  out Thursday, under federal standards the percentage of Texas campuses making “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP, dropped from 86 percent in 2010 to just 66 percent this year. “Two things stand out about these abysmal 2011 federal ratings of Texas schools,” said Linda Bridges, president of Texas AFT. “First, there’s...

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Texas Charter Schools Lag Traditional Public Schools in 2011 Accountability Ratings

Texas AFT is appropriately skeptical about the usefulness of state accountability ratings as the measure, by themselves, of what our schools actually accomplish. But the data compiled do allow for a comparison of the ratings assigned to charter schools versus traditional public schools. As in years past, a far higher percentage of charter schools received an "academically unacceptable" rating in...

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New School Accountability Ratings: Still Viewing Schools Through a Distorting Lens

The Texas Education Agency on Friday afternoon issued 2011 accountability ratings for school districts and campuses that show a sharp drop in the number of campuses rated exemplary and a sharp increase in the number of campuses rated academically unacceptable. The number of exemplary campuses dropped more than half, from 2,637 in 2010 to 1,224 in 2011 (a decline from...

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Federal Education Jobs Money Ready to Flow to Texas School Districts

Some $830 million in timely help for Texas school districts will soon be on its way to Texas school districts, thanks to the federal Education Jobs Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama last August. The state application for the funds has finally been approved, and today the Texas Education Agency published tables showing...

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Amidst Talk of State Budget Cuts, a Modest Revenue Boost

On Friday the State Board of Education found another $300 million for the state budget in the coming biennium, thanks to a transfer of unanticipated funds from the School Land Board into the Permanent School Fund. Legislative leaders, who have been pushing for budget cuts, said they welcomed the decision by SBOE members to provide $1.9 billion to the legislature,...

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Legislative Leaders Call for More Pre-Session Spending Cuts by State Agencies, Including TEA

State agencies, at the direction of the state’s legislative leaders, have already gone through a round of 5-percent cuts in their spending for the current two-year budget cycle. At a Legislative Budget Board meeting today, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, the presiding officers of the Texas Senate and House, announced that they will ask state agencies...

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Compliance With Class-Size Requirements

The Texas Education Agency on September 3 sent out its annual notice to school superintendents on compliance with class-size requirements under Texas Education Code Section 25.112. That section of state law says that as a general rule "a school district may not enroll more than 22 students in a kindergarten, first, second, third, or fourth grade class." The commissioner of...

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State Senator Blasts TEA for Hitting the Brakes on Seat-Belt-Equipped School Buses

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Democrat of Brownsville, is more than a little displeased with the Texas Education Agency, which has decided that a law Lucio wrote requiring new school buses to be equipped with seat belts cannot be implemented immediately and will not be backed by the full $10 million the legislature appropriated for it. The planned funding has been scaled...

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Shortsighted Cuts in Proposed State Education Budget Draw Fire From Texas AFT

Texas AFT Responds to Shortsighted Budget Cuts: Texas AFT President Linda Bridges put out a statement to the media today in response to the Texas Education Agency's just-released 2012-2013 budget request, which reflects instructions from Gov. Rick Perry and top legislative officials to cut 10 percent of all TEA spending (other than per-pupil formula aid to school districts). Here is...

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