Community Eligibility allows more children to eat and increases revenue for schools

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan Nearly 3,500 high poverty Texas schools now have an opportunity to provide free meals–breakfast and lunch–to all students without having to collect school meal applications through a new federal option called Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The Texas Department of Agriculture published a full list of eligible schools on its website. The 3459 Texas […]

Texas Pre-K Lags in Quality Standards, but is in the Top 10 for Access

Chandra Villanueva

The annual rankings of state Pre-K programs by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) once again shows that Texas ranks at the bottom in quality standards measures compared to 53 programs in 40 states. Of the 10 quality standard benchmarks identified by NIEER, Texas only meets two—comprehensive early learning standards and at least […]

Texas Needs an Ongoing Way to Invest in Basic Services

Last week, a House budget subcommittee addressed improving budget transparency by making the Texas budget less reliant on dedicated General Revenue balances. CPPP testified on the importance of finding ongoing ways to invest in public schools, higher education, health and human services, public safety, and other needs. Otherwise, reducing balances alone without finding alternative revenue streams that will […]

Peer Support in Local County Jails Would Benefit the Well-Being in Inmates Living with Mental Illness

Working for a Better Texas

When it comes to mental health recovery, peer support–when those with a lived experience of mental illness who have gone through recovery provide guidance and support to others living with mental illness–has proven to benefit individuals going through recovery and transitioning back into the community. And as CPPP presented to lawmakers Tuesday at the Capitol, Texas […]

Taxes are an Investment in Texas

Tuesday, millions of Americans dutifully filed their federal tax returns, but very few of us contemplate the connection to essential public supports that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Contributing taxes is one of our most fundamental civic duties and allows us to work toward accomplishing our shared goals. When we pay taxes […]

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 […]