Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune http://kut.org en Dewhurst Rolls Out Education Interim Charges http://kut.org/post/dewhurst-rolls-out-education-interim-charges <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">Studying technology's impact on higher education and evaluating public school students' writing scores on state assessments are a<span style="box-sizing: border-box;">mong the tasks Lt. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 20:55:23 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 9511 at http://kut.org Dewhurst Rolls Out Education Interim Charges Van de Putte Joins Race for Lieutenant Governor http://kut.org/post/van-de-putte-joins-race-lieutenant-governor <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">SAN ANTONIO — Long rumored to be a contender, state Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/leticia-van-de-putte/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/leticia-van-de-putte/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Leticia Van De Putte</a>&nbsp;has now made it official: She is running for lieutenant governor.</p> Sat, 23 Nov 2013 19:20:30 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 9253 at http://kut.org Van de Putte Joins Race for Lieutenant Governor Texas School Finance Trial Goes For Round Two http://kut.org/post/texas-school-finance-trial-goes-round-two <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">State district court Judge John Dietz likened the state's school finance case to the soap opera&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box;">As The World Turns&nbsp;</em>when he&nbsp;opened Wednesday's hearing on whether to reconsider evidence in the trial that concluded in February.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">He drew the comparison not because of the trial's drama but because of its longevity.</p><p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:41:51 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 8170 at http://kut.org Texas School Finance Trial Goes For Round Two Patrick's Charter School Bill Faces Test in House http://kut.org/post/patricks-charter-school-bill-faces-test-house <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35; ">The state’s charter school system could move closer to its first expansion in nearly two decades on Thursday, as the House is set to take up an education reform measure that passed through the Senate earlier this session.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; "><a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=SB2" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Senate Bill 2</a>, authored by Senate Education Chairman&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/dan-patrick/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/dan-patrick/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston, would increase the number of available state contracts for the schools that are publicly funded but privately operated by nonprofit organizations.&nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 16 May 2013 15:00:19 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 7758 at http://kut.org Patrick's Charter School Bill Faces Test in House Judge: Cheerleaders Can Keep Bible Verses On Banners http://kut.org/post/judge-cheerleaders-can-keep-bible-verses-banners <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">Cheerleaders at an East Texas high school who were told to stop displaying Bible verses on banners at school athletic events can resume such displays, after a state district judge ruled in their favor Wednesday.</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/battle-over-religion-schools-returns-east-texas/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">national headline-grabbing lawsuit</a>&nbsp;arose last fall when&nbsp;Kountze Independent School District&nbsp;administrators ordered its high school cheerleaders to stop displaying religious messages during athletic events after a group advocating for the separation of church and state threatened to sue.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 08 May 2013 21:42:20 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 7673 at http://kut.org Judge: Cheerleaders Can Keep Bible Verses On Banners In Texas, Nixing Algebra II Not Out of the Equation http://kut.org/post/texas-nixing-algebra-ii-not-out-equation <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px;">As Texas re-examines what students should learn in order to earn a high school diploma, no part of the state’s curriculum has&nbsp;attracted more attention than a single advanced math course.</p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:36:20 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 7340 at http://kut.org In Texas, Nixing Algebra II Not Out of the Equation Senate Panel Approves More Money for Public Schools http://kut.org/post/senate-panel-approves-more-money-public-schools <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.454545021057129px;">A panel of senators voted to put $1.5 billion in additional funding for public education in the two-year state budget on Thursday — including $40 million for pre-kindergarten programs, $20 million for the state's Virtual School Network and $4 million to support Teach for America.</p> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 18:55:24 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6782 at http://kut.org Senate Panel Approves More Money for Public Schools Education Chairman Aims to Expand Charter Schools http://kut.org/post/education-chairman-aims-expand-charter-schools <p></p><p>Broad changes to the state's charter school system, including the creation of a new state board to oversee the state contract process, would result from legislation filed Monday by&nbsp;Senate Education Committee Chairman&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/dan-patrick/">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston.</p><p>The State Board of Education currently oversees applications for charter school contracts, which state law caps at 215. Patrick's Senate Bill 2 would create a new state entity to authorize the contracts and lift that cap, allowing for an unlimited number of charter school operators in the state.</p><p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:45:30 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6641 at http://kut.org Education Chairman Aims to Expand Charter Schools Former House Education Chairman Lobbying for Pearson http://kut.org/post/former-house-education-chairman-lobbying-pearson <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">Former House Public Education </span>Chairman&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/rob-eissler/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rob-eissler/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Rob</a><a data-tooltip="/directory/rob-eissler/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rob-eissler/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title=""> Eissler</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">&nbsp;has taken on publishing and testing giant Pearson as a client, according to recent Ethics Commission filings.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">The Republican from The Woodlands, who lost his seat in the 2012 Republican primary, is now an Austin lobbyist whose clients include the Harris County Department of Education and the Barbers Hill Independent School District.</p><p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:51:48 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6570 at http://kut.org Former House Education Chairman Lobbying for Pearson School Finance Ruling Favors Districts http://kut.org/post/school-finance-ruling-favors-districts <p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 22:05:49 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune & Elena Schneider, Texas Tribune 6459 at http://kut.org School Finance Ruling Favors Districts Study Sought on Effect of Possible Federal Funding Cuts http://kut.org/post/study-sought-effect-possible-federal-funding-cuts <p>A Texas lawmaker has filed legislation that would require the state to study the effects of cutting financial ties with the federal government.</p><p>Rep.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/james-white/" title="">James White</a>, R-Hillister, said he filed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&amp;Bill=HB568">HB 568</a>&nbsp;because the state needed to be prepared for the possibility that the federal government could not meet its financial obligations because of "fiscal dysfunction" in Washington, D.C.</p><p> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 17:36:46 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6288 at http://kut.org Study Sought on Effect of Possible Federal Funding Cuts Land Board to Transfer $300 Million to School Fund http://kut.org/post/land-board-transfer-300-million-school-fund <p></p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.glo.texas.gov/GLO/boards-and-commissions/school-land-board/index.html">School Land Board</a>&nbsp;voted Tuesday to release $300 million into the Available School Fund for public schools.</p><p>The money will be released in two $150 million installments, one in February and the other on June.&nbsp;The funds had been caught in a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2012/07/25/board-vote-means-300-million-less-texas-schools/">standoff</a>&nbsp;between the Legislature and the School Land Board, which operates out of the General Land Office and&nbsp;oversees the state’s public school land.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:18:09 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 6102 at http://kut.org Land Board to Transfer $300 Million to School Fund Dewhurst, Patrick Discuss Plans for School Reform http://kut.org/post/dewhurst-patrick-discuss-plans-school-reform <p></p><p>Speaking in a Catholic school classroom in Austin, Lt. Gov.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/david-dewhurst/">David Dewhurst</a>&nbsp;and state Sen.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/dan-patrick/">Dan Patrick</a>&nbsp;gave the first details of what they promised would be a wide-ranging set of proposals for public education policy during the upcoming legislative session.</p><p>Patrick, a Houston Republican who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said he would carry legislation that would increase the options for public school students through lifting the state's cap on charter schools, fostering open enrollment within and across school districts, and creating a private school scholarship fund through offering a state business tax savings credit to corporations.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 19:05:34 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 5954 at http://kut.org Dewhurst, Patrick Discuss Plans for School Reform Perry: Let School Districts Decide on 15 Percent Rule http://kut.org/post/perry-let-school-districts-decide-15-percent-rule <p><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">Gov.&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Rick Perry</a><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">&nbsp;is expressing his support for letting school districts themselves choose whether to implement a rule that requires new state assessments to count for 15 percent of high school students' final grades.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">In a written statement Thursday — the first time the governor has publicly weighed in on the issue —&nbsp; Perry praised legislation filed by state Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/dan-patrick/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/dan-patrick/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Dan Patrick</a>, R-Houston, that would leave the decision up to local school districts. He also asked Texas Education Commissioner&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/michael-williams/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/michael-williams/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Michael Williams</a>&nbsp;to defer the state's rollout of the rule until the next school year.</p><p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 22:12:57 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 5780 at http://kut.org Perry: Let School Districts Decide on 15 Percent Rule Texas Posts Top High School Graduation Rates, But Why? http://kut.org/post/texas-posts-top-high-school-graduation-rates-why <p></p><p>With witnesses in a school finance trial testifying daily on the challenges facing public education in the state, and with a chorus of state leaders citing the failings of traditional public schools in calling for reform, some may be surprised to hear that by one measure, Texas schools appear to be doing quite well.</p><p><a href="http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/states-report-new-high-school-graduation-rates-using-more-accurate-common-measur">Preliminary data</a>&nbsp;released by the U.S. Department of Education this week shows that Texas — along with five other states — ranks fourth in the nation for its four-year high school graduation rates. With an overall rate of 86 percent in the 2010-11 school year, the state follows Iowa, with 88 percent, and Wisconsin and Vermont, both at 87 percent.</p><p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:30:52 +0000 Morgan Smith, Texas Tribune 5774 at http://kut.org Texas Posts Top High School Graduation Rates, But Why?