When It Comes to Charters, It Should Be Quality over Quantity

Chandra Villanueva

The charter school reforms offered in SB 2 put quantity ahead of quality in the name of offering school choice. Choice, flexibility, and innovation are important elements for an education system to successfully prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s workforce. While charter schools play a meaningful role in challenging and expanding our public school options, they […]

Budget & Health Care Presentations Available To Download

Working for a Better Texas

Today, our budget & health care teams hit the Capitol to brief legislators, their staff, and advocates on what makes a better Texas budget and better Texas health care for all families in our state. Thank you to all 165 of you who could attend! If you couldn’t be there in person, we have all […]

Maximizing Access to College for Immigrant Children Builds the Texas Economy

Rachel Cooper

Texans want immigration reform and Congress may soon take up the task. In the meantime, what should the state do with regard to immigration? That is a big question, but whatever happens at the federal level, as we explain in this paper, our state should continue to maximize access to college for immigrant children—whether documented […]

TX Needs Investment in Public Ed, Not Vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

Raise Your Hand Texas released a report on the myths and realities of school vouchers that is worth a a revisit as Senate and House committees debate school vouchers. Every voucher program is different and they go by many different names, but the basic idea is the same—state funding is diverted from public education to […]

What We Heard & Didn’t Hear in the State of the State Speech

Today, the Governor delivered his 7th State of the State speech. Here are some of our takeaways… What we heard: Texas is a job creator. Actually, Texas has the third highest percentage of low-wage jobs that offer no benefits, benefits that help lift families out of poverty or keep them from falling further into poverty. […]

New Tool Highlights What Texas Families Must Earn to Meet Basic Needs

Today we released a new data tool that finds that what a two-parent household with two children in Texas must earn to cover basic expenses like affordable housing, food, child care, and health care ranges from $35,320 a year in Abilene to $50,023 a year in Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos, and that’s without family, community, or […]

SB 1 Is 11% Below What’s Needed for a Better Texas

Today, the Senate Finance committee kicked off public hearings on Senate Bill 1, the proposed state budget for 2014 and 2015. At $89 billion in General Revenue, the Senate’s starting point is 8 percent below a conservative estimate of the $97 billion needed just to keep the “bare bones” budget going while retaining all the […]

Proposed SB 1 Does Nothing To Restore Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

Today, I testified at the first Senate Finance Committee hearing of the session. Below is a summary of what I shared with committee members: Last session, $5.3 billion was cut from public education – $4 billion from formula funding and $1.3 billion from education grant programs. We were told these cuts were necessary because the […]

2013 Lege–Public Education

Chandra Villanueva

On the face of it, “school choice” sounds like an intriguing concept. But, a key component of the school choice proposal presented by Senate leadership, which purports to allow for students to transfer within and between districts, offers few choices for too few students. After the 2011 Legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education last […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Four

Almost 1.5 million students were enrolled in credit courses at a Texas college or university in Fall 2011—more than 9 out of 10 of them at a public institution. Public community and other two-year colleges alone enroll more than half of all students in the state. Higher education funding, including financial aid, is 15 percent […]