It’s Time to Remodel Our School Finance System

Chandra Villanueva

The Texas Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision in the pending school finance lawsuit in the coming months, so get out your hard hat. The court’s decision will likely direct the Legislature to remodel the state’s public school finance system. For lawmakers, the message should be clear: Our children deserve a quality […]

Innovative Mental Health Peer Support Program Comes to Texas Jails

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Last week, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced it will support three peer support re-entry pilot program sites, funded through a $1 million budget rider passed by the Legislature in 2015. Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which an individual with a lived experience of mental illness provides guidance […]

Proposed Rules for High Quality Pre-K Released

Chandra Villanueva

After hearing testimony from stakeholders on December 1, 2015, the Texas Education Agency has released the Commissioner’s proposed rules on what should be included in the criteria to qualify for the High Quality Pre-K Grant Program (HB 4). Under the proposed rules, a high quality program is defined in terms of curriculum, teacher training, and […]

The Case for a Flat-Dollar Exemption

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

In the 2015 session, legislators considered a promising proposed constitutional amendment to give cities, counties, and other local taxing units the option of lowering property taxes through a flat-dollar homestead exemption. The measure passed the Senate and the House Ways & Means Committee with significant support, but failed to come up for a full House […]

Meanwhile…back at the Capitol

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The word “interim” comes from the Latin word for “meanwhile.” Many of us are looking ahead to the winter holidays, but meanwhile the gears are turning as lawmakers prepare for the 2017 legislative session. The interim charges that Senate and House committees will discuss in the coming months offer a preview of the policy debates […]

Pre-K Benefits are in the Details

Chandra Villanueva

If a mechanic told you she could make your car perform better, you would probably want more details before she started rearranging wires under your hood. Well, after the Texas Legislature passed the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program (HB 4) this spring, many of us applauded the law as a good first step. Now it’s details […]

Texas Education Scorecard Grades County-level Education Success

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This week CPPP released a new data tool, the Texas Education Scorecard, which compares counties on the policies and practices that affect school readiness, education funding, and transitions to college. The results are literally all over the map. All Texas kids should have a chance to succeed, but the capacity of Texas schools to prepare […]

Celebrating a New Wage in Dallas

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The Dallas City Council provided strong leadership and vision this week by voting to pay a minimum wage of $10.37 to all contract workers employed with city funds. The Dallas Poverty Task Force also deserves credit for identifying the need to raise wages for contract workers and championing the issue. Mayor Mike Rawlings created the […]

Texas Cuts Access to Women’s Health Care- Again

CPPP's Stacey Pogue

Kicking Planned Parenthood out of the Texas Women’s Health Program proved to be a terrible idea in 2013, one that jeopardized the health of women and babies, reduced access to health care, and increased costs for the state. In Texas we’re usually good about learning from our mistakes, but not so much where women’s health […]

Know Before You Vote: Props 1 and 7

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Early voting begins October 19 for the upcoming statewide elections, where Texans will vote on seven proposed constitutional amendments. CPPP encourages all Texans to learn about the implications of these proposed amendments for the future prosperity of our state. CPPP has a new breakdown of the impacts of Proposition 1, which would increase the homestead exemption […]