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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Report Finds Majority of TX Public School Kids Are Low-Income

Chandra Villanueva

The Southern Education Foundation’s new report, A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and Nation, brings attention to the fact that 48 percent of all school children across the nation live in low-income households (measured by the number of students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunch). In 17 states, clustered […]

STATEMENT: With More Than 4 Million Texans In Poverty, Texas Must Commit To Investing in Education and Career Development

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Center for Public Policy Priorities’ Frances Deviney, senior research associate and Texas KIDS COUNT director, made the following statement about today’s release of the American Community Survey: “Today’s release of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that nearly 4.56 million (17.9 percent) Texans live in poverty (e.g., $18,480 for a two parent, […]

Sizing Up the Texas Budget: Student Financial Aid

CPPP Leslie Helmcamp

Jordan dreamt of being the first in her family to graduate from college. But she never imagined that dream would come at a cost of more than $20,000 in student debt while working two jobs and attending school full time. Each year, more than 40,000 economically disadvantaged high school seniors enroll in Texas colleges. And […]

After the Bell: Enhanced Out-of-School Engagement for Texas Students

Chandra Villanueva

As students head back to school it’s important to keep in mind the significant role structured high-quality out-of-school time plays in student well-being. Most risky adolescent behavior occurs between 3:00pm and 6:00pm and right now 26 percent of Texas students are taking care of themselves after school. Creating additional learning spaces outside the regular school […]

Back to School (Meals)

Working for a Better Texas

By Jeanie Donovan For many of the five million school children in Texas, returning to the classroom this week means more than just a new teacher and a new grade. It also means returning to regular and balanced daily meals.  Although the federal Summer Food Service Program is intended to keep children from going hungry […]