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 […]

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 […]

Graduation Season Shouldn’t be Debt Season

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

High school graduates across Texas will make important decisions about their future this month. For those who haven’t decided about college yet, it’s time to weigh seeking a full-time job or enrolling in classes next fall. Adults already in the workforce may be considering postsecondary training to qualify for better jobs. All of these Texans […]

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 […]

Join Us In Welcoming Oliver Bernstein As Our New Communications Director

We are thrilled to announce that Oliver Bernstein will be joining the Center for Public Policy Priorities in mid-April as Communications Director. A fluent Spanish speaker who has lived and worked along the Texas-Mexico border and nationally, Oliver brings more than nine years of  communications experience to CPPP. He most recently directed a grassroots communications […]

FAFSA Season Shows Uptick in Applications and Need for Improvement

Working for a Better Texas

By Alejandra Cerna March is a big month for high school students aspiring to attend college. It’s the month that students and families are hustling to make their decisions about what schools to apply to and how they plan to pay for college. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority […]

House Interim Charges Don’t Go Far Enough on Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

At the end of January, the first list of interim charges for House committees was released by the Speaker of the House. Appropriations, the budget-writing committee of the House, was given a charge to conduct a basic review of the public education funding formulas and specifically if items funded outside of the formulas should be […]

CFED Scorecard: Texas Economic Ladder Needs Some Fixin’

Despite an improving national economy, 49.8 percent of Texas households are in a persistent state of financial insecurity, according to the 2014 CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard released today.  The number of households who have little or no savings to cover emergencies or to start building a better life has barely budged from last year’s […]

From the Courtroom: School Finance Trial Day 1

Chandra Villanueva

Last year the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inequitable, and inefficient. This week, State District Judge John Dietz has reopened evidence in the case to determine if actions made by the 2013 Texas Legislature resulted in any substantial changes to the school finance system. The primary […]