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 […]

The Budget Puzzle–Part Two

Public education is important in the Texas budget not just because it’s the biggest piece (42 percent of General Revenue spending), but because of its key role in preparing roughly 5 million students to be the college students, productive workers, and informed citizens of the future. Unfortunately, the 2011 Legislature made $5.3 billion in cuts […]

High Youth Unemployment is Unaffordable for Texas and the Nation

Working for a Better Texas

By Andrea Mayo In 2011, nine percent of Texas teenagers age 16 to 19 were neither in school nor in the workforce.  Unless Texas takes action, these young people will likely face substantial personal challenges to success and impose a large cost on taxpayers in the short- and long-term. According to a new KIDS COUNT report […]

RAISE Texas Summit – a recap

Don Baylor

By Don Baylor Jr. As we wrapped up the RAISE Texas Training and Summit at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston, several things came to mind: One is the maturity of the network. Ten years ago at the first meeting, 25 people attended the Texas IDA Network to focus on one issue.  This year’s summit, […]