Texas Public Schools

School Finance
11:54 am
Tue June 24, 2014

State Judge Denies Recusal Of Judge In School Finance Trial

The Legislature restored $3.4 billion to the education budget in the 2013 session. Will it be enough to sway Judge Dietz in his final decision?
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

San Antonio Judge David Peeples has denied the attorney general's office motion to recuse Travis County District Judge John Dietz from the Texas school finance trial.   

Much of Attorney General Greg Abbott's argument had to do with private email conversations between Dietz and attorneys representing the school districts about merits of the case.

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School Finance
1:46 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Decision Expected Today In School Finance Judge Recusal Hearing

The Save Texas Schools rally outside the state capital in 2011, when $5.4 billion was cut from the education budget.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Attorneys in the school finance trial spent six hours arguing the intent of private emails at the presiding judge’s recusal hearing on Friday. The attorney general’s office is arguing that emails exchanged by the prosecution and Travis County Judge John Dietz show the judge is biased and should be removed from the historic case.

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Fronteras
3:40 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Management Shakeup Following Border Patrol Use-Of-Force Scrutiny

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Fronteras: U.S. Customs and Border Protection is undergoing a shakeup following intense scrutiny over the Border Patrol’s use of force. Waves of unaccompanied Latino minors continue to make their way to Texas. What happens after they get here? The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is suing Texas, claiming the state has violated the civil rights of English language learners.

Management Shake-Up at Customs and Border Protection Following Use of Force Controversies

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Texas Public Schools
4:20 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

LULAC, MALDEF File Federal Suit Over Texas English Language Learner Programs

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on the behalf of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, alleging the state of Texas isn’t doing enough to advance English language learner (ELL) students in public schools.

The lawsuit also names San Antonio-area school districts North East ISD and Southwest ISD as defendants and references continuing state education reports to show ELL students are not given as many opportunities as other students.

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School Discipline
10:24 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Two Laws Lead To Significant Drop In Student Ticketing At Texas Schools

Credit Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

Two new laws aimed at reducing the number of tickets students receive for things like disrupting class seem to be having a profound effect at Texas public schools. The Texas Tribune reports that in one year the number of misdemeanor tickets issued to students dropped by 71 percent.

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School Finance
2:04 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Abbott Asks School Finance Judge To Recuse Himself From Case

The Save Texas Schools rally at the state capitol in 2011, the year that $5.4 billion was cut from education.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked the Travis County judge overseeing the lawsuit against the state’s school finance system to recuse himself from the case. The problem stems from a series of emails between the judge and attorneys representing the school districts.

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Early Education
10:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Child Advocacy Group Says 60% Of Texas School Children Would Benefit From All-Day Pre-K

San Antonio's Pre-K 4 SA, an all-day pre-K program, opens its final two education centers this fall.
Credit Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Houston-based Children at Risk spent a day at the capitol Thursday to update state lawmakers on the benefits of all-day pre-K programs.

"One of the things we know is that 60 percent of Texas school children are low income," said Children at Risk President Dr. Bob Sanborn. "And the research is pretty clear that when you have low-income kids, if you have a high-quality pre-K program they’re going to start kindergarten in a better way, at a more advanced level."

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Texas Public Schools
3:47 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Teachers Detail How Alternative Methods Have Helped Their Students

Beyond the reduction of standardized testing under House Bill 5, the House Committee on Public Education is also looking at using more of an innovative approach to teaching.

This week lawmakers heard details about how project-based learning and "flipped" classrooms have revolutionized the way students learn. A "flipped" classroom is when students are assigned a lecture video to watch at home so that class time can be dedicated to projects and activities based on that lesson.  

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Charter Schools
2:54 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Villarreal Pledges To Take Action Following Charter School Financial Accountability Reports

State Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio is pledging to take up charter school issues in the next legislative session.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Following a series of reports released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff on charter school financial accountability, a state lawmaker said he’s looking into legislation for the 2015 session that will address the issue.

According to an analysis released by Ratliff last week:

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Financial Accountability
10:06 am
Thu May 8, 2014

In Second Report From SBOE Vice Chair, Charter Financial Disparities Go Beyond Pay

Ratliff is hoping his series of reports about charter school financial accountability will make its way to the Legislature in the 2015 session.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Using data from the Texas Education Agency’s website, State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff showed how the overall spending at a majority of charter schools is over the recommended amount set by the state.   

Ratliff said the general conversation about charter schools focuses on school choice, but, he said, the financial management and accountability isn’t something that’s often addressed. Following his study on superintendent pay at charter schools, it was suggested that he examine overall spending.

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