Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:35 pm
The Texas legislature cut more than $5 billion from public education in 2011 to help balance the state budget. Then last month lawmakers were told previous revenue estimates were wrong – and that they had more than $8 billion left to spend on that budget.
While President Barack Obama did not mention San Antonio or Mayor Julián Castro by name, he did talk about early education initiatives during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
For a moment in the president's address, it seemed like one of Mayor Castro’s Pre-K 4 SA campaign rallies.
Obama: "Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.”
Texas education funding is ruled unconstitutional, and Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to appeal the case to the Texas Supreme Court. There are opposing views in the legislature on whether to immediately act to address the issue, or wait until the court forces it. Gov. Perry is causing a stir with his radio ads in California that try to lure companies to the Lone Star State, and one columnist from San Francisco says this is generating some interesting conversation.
San Antonio Independent School District is investigating at least five tutoring services that may have committed fraud. The companies are accused of requesting money for providing services to SAISD students that may not have been tutored.
The five companies have received about $240,000 from SAISD, some of which may have been requested fraudulently.
Texas lawmakers have rallied around the idea of making elementary schools safer. There have been calls to allow anyone with a concealed handgun license to bring guns onto public school campuses. Or for teachers to get concealed carry licenses.
The Texas Education Agency has suspended issuing ratings for school districts this year as students get used to the new state exam. Three schools and one school district, who would have had their public school status revoked, have been given what amounts to a stay of execution because of the suspension.
Northside Independent School District could see a bond election next year as district officials push off the need for one in 2013. Northside has seen about 3,000 additional students to the district ever year and the student population is now close to 100,000 students and 110 schools.