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 […]

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 […]