Community Eligibility Means More Kids Eat Free

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By Caitlin Shea, Research and KIDS COUNT Intern More kids are eating for free and without stigma thanks to a federal school meal option called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), introduced in 143 Texas school districts and nearly 1500 campuses last year. Under CEP, when 40 percent or more of the student body is eligible […]

The Path to Pre-K in 2015

Chandra Villanueva

Today Gov. Abbott will sign HB 4, the much lauded Pre-K bill that topped the governor’s list of emergency items. HB 4 is designed to improve Pre-K quality through an optional program that provides grant funding to some school districts choosing to implement limited quality improvements. It’s a good start, and we applaud the state’s […]

10 Days Left

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With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re watching: The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for […]

Down to the Wire

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Hundreds of bills have run out of time in the Texas Legislature, but a flurry of amendments and maneuvers mean several policy solutions – and some policy nightmares – still have a chance of passing. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re […]

2016-17 Legislative Budget Snapshot

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With just weeks remaining in the regular session of the 84th Legislature, House and Senate conferees are working out the two chambers’ different versions of House Bill 1, the 2016-17 General Appropriations Act. Wherever different levels of funding are proposed, the conferees may choose to go with the lower amount, the higher amount, or compromise […]

Graduation Season Comes Early

April might seem a little early for a graduation ceremony, but there I was handing out mock diplomas on the steps of the Texas Capitol surrounded by bright-eyed students in caps and gowns. This pretend ceremony had a very real message: Texas should continue to allow immigrant students who are Texas residents and non-citizens to […]

Let’s Keep College within Reach

As Texans, we’re a fierce and competitive bunch, and in the last few years our state has touted its record on low taxes and economic growth. There’s no doubt that Texas has been competitive in job growth, but when it comes to higher education, we’ve lost our edge. And without a well-educated workforce, we’re risking […]

Proposed Bills Expand College Savings Opportunities

Imagine if every child in Texas had a college savings account. Imagine the peace of mind and confidence that accumulated savings in this account would give to students as they make the transition to college. Representative Marsha Farney’s HB 3987, which is being considered by the House Public Education committee today, and Senator Sylvia Garcia’s […]

House Swings and Misses on School Finance

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this week the House Committee on Public Education heard HB 1759, a proposal by Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock that would make sweeping changes to the school finance system. This bill was introduced as an effort to increase equity in the public school system and to address the concerns raised in the pending school finance lawsuit. […]

HB 1759 to Address School Finance

Chandra Villanueva

The Texas House is making a serious effort to address school finance this session, adding $3 billion through the budget passed last week. House Public Education Committee Chair Jimmie Don Aycock has laid out HB 1759, which has a number of good aspects, among them increasing the basic allotment. This will benefit all districts, and […]