The Latest Viral Video–Wealth Inequality

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

Stay up with what the cool kids are watching. A study on wealth inequality went viral on YouTube this week.  Dan Ariely, best-selling author of Predictably Irrational, and a Harvard Business School professor asked Americans what their ideal distribution of wealth would be. The answer? Pretty equal. Then they asked Americans what they thought the actual distribution […]

TANF For Needy Families Protects Poorest Children–SB 11 Would Hurt Kids

“Helping needy families with children is both in their interest and in ours as a society. One way we help is through cash assistance for the poorest families, though we require parents who can to move from welfare to work. Texas has 718,000 families with children living in poverty. Of those, fewer than 45,000 families […]

OPED–Texas Public Pensions On Sound Footing

“Texans believe in hard work that leads to a secure retirement. We provide our public servants a secure retirement through a decent pension. At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we recently released a major report on our state’s two largest pension plans, the Teacher Retirement System and the Employee Retirement System. Every pension plan […]

Public Ed, Teacher Retirement, and the Budget

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I delivered the following testimony to the House Appropriations Committee regarding public education & Texas’ teacher retirement system: TEA: Last session, $5.3 billion was cut from public education – $4 billion from formula funding and $1.3 billion from educational grant programs. We were told these cuts were necessary because the state didn’t have the revenue […]

March 4–Save the Date for #AmplifyATX!

Working for a Better Texas

We are proud to be participating in a big day of giving in our home base of Austin, Texas! In just three short weeks, we’re joining 300+ nonprofits in the Capital City to raise at least $1 million for the organizations that make Austin, and Texas, great. Amplify Austin is a 24-hour day of giving, and we’d […]

Amarillo 4th Graders Learn the Value of Savings

Working for a Better Texas

By Lauren Stebbins Financial education has the potential to put students on the right path to building the skills that are so important for building financial security.   Smarter Texans Save, a new initiative which launched in January coordinated by OpportunityTexas in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security, Texas Council on Economic Education and CFED, with support from […]

OPED–We Need A Lot of Things More Than A Tax Cut

“During his State of the State address last week, Gov. Rick Perry wisely noted that the decisions the Legislature makes today “will determine what Texas will look like for the next 50 years.” After touting Texas as a low-tax state, the governor nonetheless recommended that we cut taxes by $1.8 billion. What would Texas look […]

Half of Texans Have Almost No Savings to Cover Emergencies or Save for the Future

Half of Texas residents are living on the edge of a financial hardship with almost no savings to fall back on as a result of a job loss, health crisis or other income-depleting emergency, according to a report released today by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). The 2013 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard defines these […]

What We Heard & Didn’t Hear in the State of the State Speech

Today, the Governor delivered his 7th State of the State speech. Here are some of our takeaways… What we heard: Texas is a job creator. Actually, Texas has the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs that offer no benefits, benefits that help lift families out of poverty or keep them from falling further into poverty. […]

OPED–What can the Lege do to help TX families achieve the American Dream?

As the Texas Legislature starts drafting a budget and writing laws that reflect the state’s values and respond to the state’s needs, it should ask: What does it really take for Texas families to make ends meet and have the opportunity to move ahead? What can the Legislature do to help Texas families achieve the […]