At public universities in Texas, only 1 in 4 full-time freshman graduates within four years. That's obviously a problem for students -- and with Texas legislators considering a bill that would increasingly link state funding to graduation rates, it's a pressure point for colleges, too.
Two Senate lawmakers and the chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court are asking the state to look into the possible disparity of minority children being criminally ticketed for misbehaving in the classroom.
"An estimated 300,000 misdemeanor tickets are issued in our state’s schools each year," said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson. "We are criminalizing our children for non-violent offenses."
Following the passage of House Bill 5 out of the Senate Committee on Education, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the chairman of the committee, chided the businesses and media outlets who have alleged that lowering the number of state-mandated end-of-course exams would dumb-down public school curriculum.
Patrick said nothing could be further from the truth.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, got another win for open-enrollment charters schools and vouchers on Thursday as the bill, which would raise the number of charter schools to 215 by 2014, got little to no opposition, and even got some help from across the aisle.
The bill also calls for that number to be raised to 331 by 2019.