Texas Public Schools

Eileen Pace / TPR News

It’s been close to six months since more than 600 school districts in Texas finished making their argument that the current school finance system is unconstitutional.

Some close to the trial, speaking on condition of anonymity, say they believe Travis County District Judge John Dietz may render a decision as soon as this week.  In January 2013, Dietz ruled that the the school finance system in Texas was unconstitutional.

US Department of Education

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has asked the U.S. Department of Education allow the state to delay a full rollout of a new teacher evaluation system and teacher's associations are applauding Williams' action.

As per agreement with that allows Texas to opt out of sections of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Williams was to design a teacher evaluation pilot program, test it using voluntary school districts, and then rollout the program after a year. 

Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

Ahead of the 2015 legislative session, state lawmakers are examining what can be done to address the state’s shortage of teachers.  A senate committee asked leading education officials to make recommendations on how to improve retention levels while maintaining quality educators.

A report issued last year by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board showed the state has very little chance of meeting it’s teacher certification goal by 2015. That same report points out that 50% of new teachers move on to a different profession within the first five years.

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.

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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