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 […]

Investing in Education Will Build a Stronger Texas Economy

Chandra Villanueva

The best way for Texas to grow its economy is by investing in a well-educated workforce, according to a new paper published by EPI for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a network of 61 state and local economic think tanks and 25 national partners founded by the Economic Policy Institute and several other […]

Sizing Up The Texas Budget: Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Next week, our schools will open to serve 80,000 more students than last year, bringing the total number of children in Texas’ public schools to nearly 5 million. Public school enrollment has increased by about 20 percent over the last decade, and most of that growth has been in the number of economically disadvantaged children. […]

What can be done to help disadvantaged children succeed in school?

Dick Lavine, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities

What can be done to address the barriers that often make it difficult for disadvantaged children to succeed in school?   Noted education researcher Helen Ladd of Duke University proposes three steps, all backed by extensive research: Disadvantaged children often suffer from poor health and nutrition—which can be corrected by high-quality early childhood and preschool programs. […]

Steps In The Right Direction for Improving Schooling for Teen Parents

Working for a Better Texas

By Eric Bybee Texas has the fourth-highest rate of teen pregnancy in the nation, with a total of 48,586 teen births in 2010. Parenthood is a leading cause of school dropouts for female students. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, only about 51 percent of teen moms have a high […]