All Eligible Students Should Benefit From Full-Day Pre-K

Chandra Villanueva

Pre-Kindergarten has already proven to be a hot issue this legislative session, and this week Representatives Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) and Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) released a noteworthy Pre-K reform proposal. The plan acknowledges the importance of Pre-K for economically disadvantaged students but fails to offer a solution for all eligible students in all districts. Pre-K is […]

Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

As the 84th Texas Legislative Session begins, I feel energized, prepared and optimistic. Really! Yes, the every-other-year legislative session can be divisive and nerve-racking. But the Capitol belongs to all of us as Texans, and these 140 days are our chance to shape the state our children will inherit. Our offices are buzzing here at […]

Family Matters: Two-Generation Approach to Opportunity

More than one million families with young children in Texas are low-income—nearly half of all families with young children. Texas kids growing up in low-income families deserve the same shot at success as middle and upper income kids. For these kids, family stability and well-being are strongly tied to their opportunities for success. Today, many […]

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 […]

Aug 31 Deadline Approaches for Schools to Opt In for Free Breakfast and Lunch

Rachel Cooper

Nearly 3,500 high-poverty Texas schools now have an opportunity to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students without having to collect cumbersome school meal applications thanks to a new federal option called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). But school districts need to act fast. The deadline for schools to opt in is August 31. […]

A Wish for Texas Children

I know that I share with every parent a sense of hope for their child’s future. And with one of every 11 U.S. kids living in Texas, the opportunities we create for our children will determine their future and also the future of our country. That is why I was happy to see some bits […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

Rachel Cooper

For so many families, summer means road trips to the beach, hikes at Texas state parks and days at the neighborhood pool. But, far too many low-income parents spend the summer months worrying about how they will stretch their lean budgets to feed their children the breakfasts and lunches they would normally get during school. […]

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 […]