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 […]

New national poll shows concern for school underfunding, vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

This week PDK/Gallup released the findings of their 46th annual Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. The nationwide poll, administered to 1,001 Americans, asked questions on important education policy issues such as school funding, teacher quality, standardized testing, and vouchers. The Texas Legislature will debate many of these issues when the legislative […]

A Wish for Texas Children

I know that I share with every parent a sense of hope for their child’s future. And with one of every 11 U.S. kids living in Texas, the opportunities we create for our children will determine their future and also the future of our country. That is why I was happy to see some bits […]

School Districts Need a Reliable Source of Funding to Support Economically Disadvantaged Students

Chandra Villanueva

Many of the programs and interventions funded outside of the school finance formulas are directed towards improving the academic success of economically disadvantaged students and those at-risk of dropping out. In 2011, over $647 million for those programs was cut from the education budget; very little of this funding was restored in 2013. These programs […]

Texas Fact Book Shows Poor Education Rankings for the State

Chandra Villanueva

The Legislative Budget Board just released their annual Texas Fact Book, which shows how Texas ranks compared to other states, and our education rankings are nothing to be proud of. Texas has more public elementary and secondary schools than any other state and is responsible for educating more than 5 million children, second only to California. […]

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 […]