Texas Public Schools

Ryan E. Poppe

 

The state’s agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, is celebrating his first six months in office by listing off a number of aggressive and somewhat controversial initiatives his office will be undertaking.  

  

 

In the annual State of Agriculture address on Wednesday, Miller said, “There’s three things we don’t tolerate at the TDA, we don’t tolerate horse thieves, cattle rustlers and cheats. We’ll come get you.”

 

 

 

Ryan E. Poppe

The head of public education for the Texas House has a plan for changing the state’s school finance system and boosting per pupil spend at most schools. On Tuesday, a legislative committee will debate the impact of the bill and how Texas currently funds schools.

The last time the Legislature adjusted the per pupil funding formula was in 1991, but since then, the number of families in the state has nearly doubled. That’s one of the reasons why, in 2014, a state judge ruled in favor of school districts that sued the state over the state’s school finance system.

House Public Education Committee Chairman, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, a Republican from Killeen, has introduced a bill that attempts to change how much the state is spending per student. It adds an additional $2.2 billion to the total formula and changes how much money comes back to high value property districts. But Aycock isn’t coy about the fact that not every district will see a large increase.

Texas House Attempts Ambitious School Funding Fix

Apr 8, 2015
Flickr user Phil Ostroff / cc

AUSTIN — An ambitious House proposal to fix the much-criticized way Texas pays for its public schools seeks to pour $3 billion extra into classrooms and reduce the state’s reliance on the so-called “Robin Hood” funding mechanism — even as a multiyear court battle continues to rage.

Unveiled Tuesday by the lower chamber’s leading schools expert, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, the sweeping bill would increase per-pupil funding for 94 percent of the state’s 5.2 million public school students — with some school districts in wealthy areas, or those not currently collecting local property taxes at high enough rates, virtually the only ones left out.

genefortexas.com; Source: Texas Legislative Budget Board

DALLAS — Texas has improved its state support for public education but still lags behind most of the nation, according to an annual report issued Wednesday. The report from the National Education Association also showed Texas ranks first nationally in the number of public school districts and second to California in enrollment.

Public school revenue per student in Texas rose from $9,909, 41st nationally, in 2012-2013 to $10,334 in 2013-2014, 39th nationally. In those same years, the national average rose from $12,090 to $12,357.

Texas school districts had to generate 49.5 percent of their revenue, ranking 15th nationally, in 2013-2014, up from 47.8 percent in 2012-2013, 18th nationally.

Courtesy Southern Education Foundation

HOUSTON — Michelle Davis opened the trunk of her black Mercury Mountaineer, placing inside plastic bags full of jeans, a blue-and-white striped Polo and other clothes.

A youth services worker with the Spring School District bought the clothes for Dewayne, Davis’ son who attends Westfield High School. He’s one of nine children and grandchildren, ages 3 to 18, who have been living with her, supported largely by food stamps and a disability check for Dwayne, who has suffered seizures and a brain injury. “I’ll take anything,” said Davis, 51, of the much-needed help.

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