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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

What can be done to help disadvantaged children succeed in school?

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

What can be done to address the barriers that often make it difficult for disadvantaged children to succeed in school?   Noted education researcher Helen Ladd of Duke University proposes three steps, all backed by extensive research: Disadvantaged children often suffer from poor health and nutrition—which can be corrected by high-quality early childhood and preschool programs. […]

OPED–Lawmakers have an opportunity to do more for Texas kids

“When it comes to funding priorities for Texas children, legislators appear to be facing similar tough choices as they work to finalize the state budget. The Senate and House have proposed 2014-15 budgets that, at first glance, seem to highlight different priorities for Texas kids. For example, the House proposes more state money, about $1 […]

Open Letter to State Budget Conferees

Today, we sent a letter to the budget conferees outlining our recommendations for reconciling the differences between the House and the Senate regarding health and human services and public and higher education. The conference committee will probably finish making its decisions by Friday, May 10. Only a few days are left for you to make […]

HB 2662 Would Help Texas Students Build Brighter Financial Futures

Last week, the House Public Education committee heard Rep. Marsha Farney’s bill (HB 2662) to create a semester-long personal financial literacy course required for high school graduation and I provided testimony in support of this bill. A stand-alone personal financial literacy (PFL) course in high school would better equip Texas students with real-world skills that […]

Even With Senate Budget, School Districts Will Still Have Less To Spend Per Student

The chart below is based on one done in late February by State Representative Gene Wu, showing real (inflation-adjusted) spending per Texas student. The amounts for 2014 and 2015 reflect what is being proposed in the budget that the Senate will debate today.     Despite the improvements made by the Senate Finance Committee, school […]

On The Road To A BETTER TEXAS

At CPPP, we believe in the people of Texas. And we believe that all Texans deserve a chance to live a safe and healthy life–seeing a doctor when they need one, having healthy food on the table, and getting the education they need to secure their economic future. But what does it take for families […]