What’s at Stake in the School Finance Ruling

Chandra Kring Villanueva

We’re eagerly awaiting the Texas Supreme Court’s school finance ruling, expected almost any day. It’s a good time to consider what it would take for our school finance system to adequately and equitably fund our public schools so all Texas kids have access to a quality education, no matter where they live or what their […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ready for a School Finance Solution

Chandra Villanueva

The right to a free public education is enshrined in Texas’ constitution to “promote the general diffusion of knowledge,” which is “essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.” The earliest Texans knew that the state needed well-educated people who could ensure Texas’ growth and prosperity, benefiting the state as a […]

House Swings and Misses on School Finance

Chandra Villanueva

Earlier this week the House Committee on Public Education heard HB 1759, a proposal by Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock that would make sweeping changes to the school finance system. This bill was introduced as an effort to increase equity in the public school system and to address the concerns raised in the pending school finance lawsuit. […]

HB 1759 to Address School Finance

Chandra Villanueva

The Texas House is making a serious effort to address school finance this session, adding $3 billion through the budget passed last week. House Public Education Committee Chair Jimmie Don Aycock has laid out HB 1759, which has a number of good aspects, among them increasing the basic allotment. This will benefit all districts, and […]

Invest in Public Education, Not Vouchers

Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Education Committee will hear several school voucher bills. Every voucher program is different and they go by many different names, but the basic idea is the same: the programs divert state funding from public education to cover all or part of a student’s tuition at a private or religious school. Promoted under […]

You Had Me at “Early Education”

Governor Abbott’s first State of the State address started out strong, but then he lost me. I was pleased to hear the Governor declare early education his first “emergency item,” saying “our children and their future have no time for delay.” Pre-Kindergarten is the smartest and most cost-effective investment in education – yet only 52 […]

Senate Public Education Investment Falls Short

Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on the importance of investing in public education. When District Court Judge John Dietz found Texas’ school finance system to be unconstitutional last year, he did so on the grounds that Texas fails to adequately invest in public schools and the available resources are not equitably distributed. One key […]