Budget Season in Texas Means Sleepless Nights

What keeps you up at night? Is it the risks of not having health insurance? The rising cost of college? Overcrowded classrooms at your child’s school? Well, it’s budget season at the Texas Capitol, and how legislators decide to invest state money could profoundly affect these and other aspects of our lives. What have we […]

Invest in Public Education, Not Vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Education Committee will hear several school voucher bills. Every voucher program is different and they go by many different names, but the basic idea is the same: the programs divert state funding from public education to cover all or part of a student’s tuition at a private or religious school. Promoted under […]

Work-Study Jobs that Lead to Texas Careers

Chandra Villanueva

As one of only 14 states with a state-supported work-study program for college students, Texas has been a leader in recognizing the value of connecting students with jobs. This is especially important as college becomes less affordable leaving many students to rely on loans, part-time jobs, and sometimes even full-time jobs to cover tuition and […]

You Had Me at “Early Education”

Governor Abbott’s first State of the State address started out strong, but then he lost me. I was pleased to hear the Governor declare early education his first “emergency item,” saying “our children and their future have no time for delay.” Pre-Kindergarten is the smartest and most cost-effective investment in education – yet only 52 […]

Texas Should Continue to Lead with Smart Immigration Policies

The crowd on the south steps of the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning truly reflected the changing face of our great state. I was proud to represent CPPP at the “Texas Can Do Better” immigration day of action. Hosted by our friends at the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, today’s day of action highlighted the coalition’s […]

Senate Public Education Investment Falls Short

Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on the importance of investing in public education. When District Court Judge John Dietz found Texas’ school finance system to be unconstitutional last year, he did so on the grounds that Texas fails to adequately invest in public schools and the available resources are not equitably distributed. One key […]

Grab Your Boots, It’s Legislative Session Time

As the 84th Texas Legislative Session begins, I feel energized, prepared and optimistic. Really! Yes, the every-other-year legislative session can be divisive and nerve-racking. But the Capitol belongs to all of us as Texans, and these 140 days are our chance to shape the state our children will inherit. Our offices are buzzing here at […]

What We Learned at House Appropriations This Week

On Thursday the House Appropriations committee heard from the Legislative Budget Board and the Comptroller of Public Accounts on state budget, economic, and revenue developments affecting the 2014-15 and 2016-17 two-year spending packages. Though membership of the Appropriations committee will change somewhat in January 2015, the group of lawmakers drafts the House of Representatives’ version […]

Young and Concerned About my Future

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Am I one of the few millennials interested in the Texas budget? Many of my peers don’t appreciate how the state’s investment decisions will determine the future Texas that we all inherit. With pre-legislative session budget hearings just beginning, now is the time for us to get involved and push for funding for the things […]

After the School Finance Ruling: What Does it Mean for Texas?

Chandra Villanueva

Nearly two years after the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas school finance system, District Court Judge John Dietz issued his final ruling. Not surprisingly, for those who follow education issues in Texas, he found the school finance system to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inefficient, and […]