When debating school finance, don’t leave out Pre-K

Chandra Kring Villanueva

One of the most effective ways we can help kids compete and succeed in life is to make sure they are ready to start Kindergarten. Research has shown positive results from the state-supported Pre-K program, yet Texas regularly receives low marks for quality in the National Institute for Early Education Research’s (NIEER) annual State of […]

Expanding Opportunity for Every Texas Child

Ann Beeson

As a young girl growing up in Dallas, I remember being glued to the television, awestruck as we watched the first man walk on the moon. I was amazed by that remarkable human achievement, and proud that Americans had come together to solve a challenge many thought was impossible. As a parent, I’ve toured NASA […]

New Features in the KIDS COUNT Data Center

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The KIDS COUNT Data Center from the Annie E. Casey Foundation has useful data on Texas children and their families, and the Data Center recently rolled out a new feature. Users can now explore results divided by three significant characteristics: age, family nativity (i.e. immigrant or U.S.-born families), and race and ethnicity. The new categories […]

Now is the Time

Speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children.” A few months later, I was born. I just happened to be White, which opened invisible doors to success that were all too often […]

Community Eligibility Provision Feeds One Million Kids Daily

Rachel Cooper

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) means that over 1 million Texas public school students now receive free breakfast and lunch each day. This new tool makes school meal signups easier and increases revenue for schools. CEP is now in place at over 1,648 schools in Texas, making the Lone Star State the national leader in […]

Is Texas Doing it for the Kids?

The new national KIDS COUNT® Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released today reminds us how challenging it is to be a kid in Texas. Once again, Texas ranked among the ten worst states for children. There were a few bright spots for the Lone Star State including improved math proficiency for eighth […]

10 Days Left

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With 10 days left in the 84th Legislative session, there are still a handful of major decisions pending. Here is a preview of upcoming action we’re watching and some of our work from the past week. What we’re watching: The full Senate should consider HB 1624, a good bill that would help people shopping for […]

Big Day in Senate Health and Human Services Committee

Today the Senate Health and Human Services committee is expected to hear two important bills we’ve been following: HB 1541 HB 2835 HB 1541 would establish a Medicaid state service plan for peer support services, designating certified peer specialists and certified recovery specialists as a billable provider. Mental health peer support services are proven to […]

DFPS House and Senate Budget Proposals Similar, but Priorities Differ

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Now that the full Senate has voted out its “marked up” version of the 2016-17 budget, we are one step closer to the end of the 2015 legislative budget process. Conferees on House Bill 1 will resolve differences between the Senate and House proposals before the regular session ends. For child protective services, foster care, […]

Superheroes & Superstars: State of Texas Children 2015

Have you been wondering how well Texas kids are doing? There’s some good news, and some bad news. More kids today have health insurance than did a year ago, and more parents are employed. But Texas could be doing better. On March 4th we released our 2015 State of Texas Children report, with the support […]