211 Data: Austin-area residents struggling to make ends meet

We believe that every Texas family has the right to live a safe and healthy life. That means stable housing, nutritious food on the table, and access to a good education and training for the jobs of today . . . and tomorrow. Recent data from the United Way of Greater Austin’s 211 Navigation Center […]

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 […]

Restoring Education Should Take Priority

Chandra Villanueva

This week, I testified “on” SB 758 in a Senate Finance committee hearing because there are compelling reasons for and against undoing the Foundation School Program deferral – Deferring the FSP payment prevented even further cuts to public education last session.  Undoing this deferment now would make this tool available again the next time there is […]

When It Comes to Charters, It Should Be Quality over Quantity

Chandra Villanueva

The charter school reforms offered in SB 2 put quantity ahead of quality in the name of offering school choice. Choice, flexibility, and innovation are important elements for an education system to successfully prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s workforce. While charter schools play a meaningful role in challenging and expanding our public school options, they […]

TX Needs Investment in Public Ed, Not Vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

Raise Your Hand Texas released a report on the myths and realities of school vouchers that is worth a a revisit as Senate and House committees debate school vouchers. Every voucher program is different and they go by many different names, but the basic idea is the same—state funding is diverted from public education to […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Two

Public education is important in the Texas budget not just because it’s the biggest piece (42 percent of General Revenue spending), but because of its key role in preparing roughly 5 million students to be the college students, productive workers, and informed citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the 2011 Legislature made $5.3 billion in cuts […]