This Economic Boom is Brought to You by Immigrants

The founders of our great state of Texas were immigrant newcomers from Virginia and Tennessee – Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, and Davy Crockett among them – attracted to free land, opportunity and adventure in what was then northern Mexico. According to a new study we published today at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, […]

Young and Concerned About my Future

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Am I one of the few millennials interested in the Texas budget? Many of my peers don’t appreciate how the state’s investment decisions will determine the future Texas that we all inherit. With pre-legislative session budget hearings just beginning, now is the time for us to get involved and push for funding for the things […]

After the School Finance Ruling: What Does it Mean for Texas?

Chandra Villanueva

Nearly two years after the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas school finance system, District Court Judge John Dietz issued his final ruling. Not surprisingly, for those who follow education issues in Texas, he found the school finance system to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inefficient, and […]

New national poll shows concern for school underfunding, vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

This week PDK/Gallup released the findings of their 46th annual Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The nationwide poll, administered to 1,001 Americans, asked questions on important education policy issues such as school funding, teacher quality, standardized testing, and vouchers. The Texas Legislature will debate many of these issues when the legislative […]

Peer Support Improves Re-entry, Keeps People from Getting Locked up Again

Working for a Better Texas

By Megan Randall Texas jails and prisons have become today’s de facto treatment centers for Texans with mental illness. In local Texas county jails, for example, up to 40 percent of bookings in 2013 were for individuals who had previously received public mental health services. Research has shown that inmates with mental illness have difficulty […]

School Districts Need a Reliable Source of Funding to Support Economically Disadvantaged Students

Chandra Villanueva

Many of the programs and interventions funded outside of the school finance formulas are directed towards improving the academic success of economically disadvantaged students and those at-risk of dropping out. In 2011, over $647 million for those programs was cut from the education budget; very little of this funding was restored in 2013. These programs […]

Texas Fact Book Shows Poor Education Rankings for the State

Chandra Villanueva

The Legislative Budget Board just released their annual Texas Fact Book, which shows how Texas ranks compared to other states, and our education rankings are nothing to be proud of. Texas has more public elementary and secondary schools than any other state and is responsible for educating more than 5 million children, second only to California. […]

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 […]