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 […]

Meanwhile…back at the Capitol

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 […]

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. […]

School Districts Need a Reliable Source of Funding to Support Economically Disadvantaged Students

Chandra Villanueva

Many of the programs and interventions funded outside of the school finance formulas are directed towards improving the academic success of economically disadvantaged students and those at-risk of dropping out. In 2011, over $647 million for those programs was cut from the education budget; very little of this funding was restored in 2013. These programs […]

House Interim Charges Don’t Go Far Enough on Public Ed Funding

Chandra Villanueva

At the end of January, the first list of interim charges for House committees was released by the Speaker of the House. Appropriations, the budget-writing committee of the House, was given a charge to conduct a basic review of the public education funding formulas and specifically if items funded outside of the formulas should be […]

From the Courtroom: School Finance Trial Day 1

Chandra Villanueva

Last year the Texas school finance system was ruled unconstitutional on the grounds that it is inadequate, inequitable, and inefficient. This week, State District Judge John Dietz has reopened evidence in the case to determine if actions made by the 2013 Texas Legislature resulted in any substantial changes to the school finance system. The primary […]