TEA

Ryan E. Poppe

One of the Texas governor’s agenda items on public education has cleared the Texas Senate. Senators have approved four bills on Thursday that re-apply a program from the 1990s.

Brenham Republican Lois Kolkhorst said these bills direct the Texas Education Commissioner to set up training academies for teachers to bring children up to grade level in reading and math.

“Problematically, many students are not reading at a satisfactory level. Teacher quality is widely considered the most important school-related variable for improving student performance.

Accordingly, teachers must be afforded the training and retraining to make the difference in our young students’ lives,” Kolkhorst explained.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The Texas education commissioner has informed federal officials the state intends to seek a $30 million grant that would expand pre-kindergarten opportunities. That would include increasing enrollment for non-English speaking students and possible all-day pre-K.

While the two gubernatorial candidates debate how pre-K should be run, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams wants to make sure Texas has the financial resources for increasing pre-K opportunities.  

Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Texas Education Agency has approved a parks and wildlife water safety program to educate young adults and teens who spend time boating, fishing, and swimming in Texas waterways.

The newest video centers around testimonials of parents that have lost their children in water-recreation accidents.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Update (4:05 p.m.): In his final decision, Travis County District Judge John Dietz said that the property tax system set up to fund school districts was ineffective at distributing funding equally to campuses across the state. 

Attorney David Thompson represents the largest number of schools in the lawsuit.

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

   

State lawmakers took issue with the Texas Education Agency’s plan to keep the standard for writing component of the Texas STAARS exam at a lower level for a third year in a row. Lawmakers voiced concerns with keeping the lower standard and changing the exam while student performance  remains flat.

The state introduced the STAAR exams in 2011 and because of failing test grades the legislature reduced the number of exams from 15 to five in 2013.  

State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said the STAAR exam may have run its course. 

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