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 […]

2013 Lege–College Access & Success

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

This session, the Economic Opportunity team has been tracking legislation that will affect financial aid, developmental and adult basic education, and career readiness and skills development. We are closely monitoring attempts to limit financial grant aid to students who need it most. Even though current financial aid programs expand access for many low-income students to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Budget & Health Care Presentations Available To Download

Working for a Better Texas

Today, our budget & health care teams hit the Capitol to brief legislators, their staff, and advocates on what makes a better Texas budget and better Texas health care for all families in our state. Thank you to all 165 of you who could attend! If you couldn’t be there in person, we have all […]

Maximizing Access to College for Immigrant Children Builds the Texas Economy

Rachel Cooper

Texans want immigration reform and Congress may soon take up the task. In the meantime, what should the state do with regard to immigration? That is a big question, but whatever happens at the federal level, as we explain in this paper, our state should continue to maximize access to college for immigrant children—whether documented […]

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 […]