Equity in school funding levels the playing field, promotes equal opportunity for all Texas school children

Chandra Villanueva

As we wait for the district court’s final ruling on the Texas school finance system lawsuit, new numbers show more than five million school children are being educated under a system that values some students more than others. Texas is a growing and changing state. In the past 10 years, the student population of Texas has […]

House Interim Charges Don’t Go Far Enough on Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

At the end of January, the first list of interim charges for House committees was released by the Speaker of the House. Appropriations, the budget-writing committee of the House, was given a charge to conduct a basic review of the public education funding formulas and specifically if items funded outside of the formulas should be […]

From the Courtroom: School Finance Trial Day 1

Chandra Villanueva

Last year the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inequitable, and inefficient. This week, State District Judge John Dietz has reopened evidence in the case to determine if actions made by the 2013 Texas Legislature resulted in any substantial changes to the school finance system. The primary […]

Report Finds Majority of TX Public School Kids Are Low-Income

Chandra Villanueva

The Southern Education Foundation’s new report, A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and Nation, brings attention to the fact that 48 percent of all school children across the nation live in low-income households (measured by the number of students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunch). In 17 states, clustered […]

Grade Inflation–Details of S&P’s report giving Texas a AAA Credit Rating

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the leading national credit rating firm, recently raised Texas’ general-obligation bond rating to AAA – the highest rating.  Unsurprisingly, the governor and other elected officials hailed this upgrade as vindication of recent legislative tax and budget decisions. But reading the fine print shows that Texas’ revenue system has serious flaws and […]

Sizing Up the Texas Budget: Student Financial Aid

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

Jordan dreamt of being the first in her family to graduate from college. But she never imagined that dream would come at a cost of more than $20,000 in student debt while working two jobs and attending school full time. Each year, more than 40,000 economically disadvantaged high school seniors enroll in Texas colleges. And […]

Back to School (Meals)

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan For many of the five million school children in Texas, returning to the classroom this week means more than just a new teacher and a new grade. It also means returning to regular and balanced daily meals.  Although the federal Summer Food Service Program is intended to keep children from going hungry […]

Sizing Up The Texas Budget: Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Next week, our schools will open to serve 80,000 more students than last year, bringing the total number of children in Texas’ public schools to nearly 5 million. Public school enrollment has increased by about 20 percent over the last decade, and most of that growth has been in the number of economically disadvantaged children. […]

Sizing Up The Texas Budget–Family Planning

CPPP's Stacey Pogue

Devastating budget cuts to family planning in 2011 caused widespread collateral damage, leaving 147,000 Texas women without services and the women’s health safety net in tatters. This session, the Legislature took a big first step in repairing that damage by funding family planning programs that will serve approximately the same number of women Texas did […]

Sales Tax Holiday is Well-Intentioned But Misguided

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Texas’ annual sales tax holiday is this weekend – August 9-11.  Retailers will not collect state or local sales tax on most clothing, footwear, and school supplies priced under $100. The sales tax holiday is well-intentioned but misguided. Legislators concerned about the unfair burden that the sales tax places on low- and moderate-income Texas families […]