"...Department of Education and Gov. Rick Perry over emergency public school funding..."
"...This year, they're in limbo. No one knows how much the state will spend on education or how it will slice up the funding, and there's persistent talk that an education-focused special legislative session will be required just to work out the basics..."
"...When the Texas Supreme Court rejected challenges to the state's school finance system last month, it was a blow to hopes of educators and administrators. The fear was that, without the court putting a gun to the Legislature's head, there would be no impetus to fix a funding process that even the justices admitted is substandard...."
"...20 early voting. There's a lot more about Council on the following pages – and we're already hard at work on our endorsements, which will appear in next week's issue – but it's worth a reminder that there is yet more on the local ballot that needs your attention: five contested Austin ISD school board races (four districts, one at-large), plus, regarding Austin Community College, two board seats and about a half-billion dollars in funding proposals (yes, that's a "B")..."
"...After a long fight, Texas looks likely to receive a delayed $830 million in school funding under the federal Education Jobs bill. Yet lawmakers still have to solve how, when, and where to spend that cash...."
"...Gov. Dewhurst, and Speaker Craddick today announced that they had found a solution to the community college funding crisis caused in June by Perry's ham-handed veto of appropriations to cover health care costs for certain employees..."
"...Then there's the third factor: the 2014 ruling by state District Judge John Dietz that found that the whole Texas school finance system fails to meet its constitutional obligation to provide adequate and equitable funding. Texas' lousy track record on school finance had reached a new low in 2011, when then-Comptroller Susan Combs handed down a budget forecast of gloom and doom, and in a blind panic the Legislature went on a budget-slashing frenzy, cutting $4 billion out of public education funds for the 2012-13 biennium..."
"...Noticeably scrapped from floor debate was a flurry of amendments by Democrats that would reduce funding to the Alternatives to Abortion program, as well as a handful of amendments by GOPers to conversely up the funding for the program, which includes unregulated, anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers. The program is set to receive nearly double its funding – from $5.15 million per year to $9.15 million – from last session’s budget...."
"...L is for Leininger, James R. He's the bottomless well funding the Texas Public Policy and CEO America foundations -- pro-voucher groups who have poured millions into research documenting the failures of the public school system..."
"...As the Legislative session gets under way, serious questions persist about the future of women's health care funding – and there's a new player in town ready with an answer to cure the state's family-planning woes...."
"...Education lobbyist and activist Jason Sabo of Frontera Strategies said he understood some of the issues raised by groups like the chamber about the lack of extra support to help guide campuses and students through the new system. However, his sympathy was limited, because these were exactly the same kind of groups that have hamstrung education funding in the state..."
"...Josiah James Ingalls promotes awareness of the many forms of child abuse and neglect, understands the biased division of educational funding and has dedicated himself to helping improve all areas of Texas education. He is also the President of the School For All Children Act, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of educational neglect...."
"...From education funding to student testing, the Texas public school system has been thoroughly and repeatedly reshaped over the last decade by the Republican-run Legislature. Now, as the March 12 Save Texas Schools rally on the Capitol showed statewide dissatisfaction with their work, Republican lawmakers and conservative think tanks are scrambling to deflect criticism..."
"...ACC, which serves 8,000 Hispanic students, is less than half a percentage point away from qualifying for Title V funding, which is set aside for Hispanic-serving institutions those with 25% or more Latino students. "We have a goal to reverse a potentially devastating trend by increasing college attendance and graduation among Hispanics," ACC President Stephen Kinslow told Hinojosa on Monday..."
"...State Rep. Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, who chairs the House Public Education Committee, crafted the legislation as part of a two-pronged approach to changing the "Robin Hood" funding method of sharing local property tax revenues..."
"...State Rep. and House Appropriations Committee member Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, said, "As legislators, any ruling that behooves ensuring equitable, sufficient, quality education, and funding for the school children of Texas, is a victory..."
"...What the governor pointedly did not say is that he is committed to finding new funding for education, except insofar as the current burden can be shifted away from property taxes. Instead, as is his custom, he changed the subject, insisting the Texas public wants "more education for its money, not just more money for education." It's a nice phrase, though it hardly puts more resources in the hands of those poor Austin students, a question the governor consigned to "the courts" whose jurisdiction in the matter is being vigorously contested by the Perry administration...."
"...We've had enough bureaucratic speak and dictating what's going on in our schools." But that's a reversal of Scott's original position. On March 2, 2009, he testified to the House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding that, while as a state employee he was technically neutral on the ARRA, "I'm encouraged about this because these are the things we've been working on for the last few years," such as college and career readiness, charter schools, and incentive pay..."
"...Hutchison, she charged, "has consistently voted against proper funding for school repairs, voted against the Head Start program, which is so essential for school-age children, and voted for the cuts in student loans and grants that are so necessary." She also said that Hutchison supported the No Child Left Behind act but then three times "cynically voted against the full funding that would help the program succeed."..."
"...Four months after his veto of health benefits funding for Texas' community colleges caused an uproar, Gov. Rick Perry has cut a deal with Lt..."
"...According to Mack Quintana, TBEC's business co-chair who presented the group's recommendations, any such plan must address Texas' transition to a Hispanic majority, and the need to make college a reality for students from families or neighborhoods where in the past few have attained higher education. So in addition to basic support for an equitable school finance system where the state picks up at least 50% of the tab, and everyone gets an education that is not just adequate but "excellent," the group recommended more funding for literacy programs and English language acquisition, and placed special emphasis on fully funding the TEXAS Grant program for low-income college students..."
"...Rick Perry goes on a veto rampage, leaving legislators (and others) to wonder why the guv's objections to their bills didn't come up earlier in the process. The veto in question was his line-item rejection in June of $154 million in community-college funding, which he nixed on the grounds that such schools were illegally paying employees' health-care benefits with state funds, when the law dictates that those benefits come from local funds...."
"...But while the Museum has a bright past, its future might be dimming. The hallowed local institution was recently informed that it faces a departmental budget cut of about $600,000, or roughly three-fourths of its total budget (see "UT to Slash Memorial Museum Funding," Nov..."
"...According to Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, "To say we're doing assessments all the time is an understatement." Yet, he argued, there's a big difference between teachers checking how students are progressing and the artificial pressures of high-stakes testing. "Arne Duncan knows that assessment drives instruction," Fletcher told his audience, and that's why the Department of Education has assigned $350 million in Race to the Top funding for a consortium of states to develop new assessment standards..."
"...Dan Patrick running the Senate, every backdoor privatization tool pushed by the education reform movement would get passed. But from vouchers to more funding diverted to private charters, they were all rejected with bipartisan opposition. 5) Pearson Ejected..."
"...A year ago, Texas Civil Rights Project director Jim Harrington was listening to his daughter, an Austin Independent School District teacher, talking to another teacher about how there seemed to be rich campuses and poor campuses. Harrington said, "I always wondered why the schools were so unequal." Now the TCRP has released a report showing a stark funding gap between high achieving and struggling schools, which Harrington said shows "a real lack of commitment" in the district to helping poor and underachieving kids...."
"...First, the bad news: If the current school funding proposals pass, the district will face a cut in state funding over the next biennium. The good news: The cuts are not as bad as initially feared..."
"...Even before Davis' researchers leapt on the Murray connection, Abbott was already taking a mauling from his claims about pre-K funding. His plan argued that "while fostering early childhood development is an important educational goal, studies show that existing prekindergarten programs fail to produce lasting benefits." To back that claim up, rather than using traditional education research journals, he cited the conservative policy publication/libertarian mouthpiece National Affairs..."
"...HB 4, by Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Kingwood: Access to pre-K education is one of the great indicators of student achievements throughout their education careers, making it all the more unfortunate that pre-K funding was one of the first targets in the 2011 financial bloodbath..."
"...When charter initiatives have worked, they generally succeed either by cherry-picking the best students from neighborhood schools (a regular criticism of groups like IDEA Public Schools), or by having so many resources thrown at them (as in the Promise Zone initiative) that they can provide the kind of expensive wraparound services that the GOP has been cutting for decades. Anyone seeing Abbott or Patrick putting any kind of restrictions or funding in place to make sure their pet projects don't just devastate public ed in Texas?..."
"...That was the preliminary ruling from Judge John Dietz in February, but the case is far from over. In June, Dietz said he'd reopen the hearings in January, to examine whether extra funding approved by lawmakers in the legislative session really changed anything...."
"...2) School Finance, Still Awful In May, the Texas Supreme Court deemed the state's school finance system and current levels of funding constitutional. In November, Houston ISD residents voted not to send their $165 million "Robin Hood" check to the state...."
"...Gary Susswein, the UT-Austin director of media relations, says that each college at the university has authority over its own budget, and the decision to cut museum funding was made specifically by the College of Natural Sciences. However, Susswein does note that the situation is reflective of the university's budget overall, which has been essentially flat for five years..."
"...Dear Austin Chronicle, Pre-K Now's new report, "Leadership Matters," rates each governor's commitment to prekindergarten education. For the first time in four years, the number of governors proposing increases in pre-K funding declined..."
"...Sneaky, sneaky: Lake Travis school board trustees voted in November to use their own property tax revenues for tuition vouchers at private schools. The Lake Travis Independent School District has very high property wealth per student, so under the state school funding law, it shares its "excess" wealth with less well-off school districts..."
"...The other aspects of the utility -- flooding and erosion control -- were carried out by PWTD. Though the divisions had one funding source -- a fee assessed on utility bills -- tracking expenses and projects proved difficult..."
"...TDH is in the process of sending out over 4,000 requests for information throughout the state, to garner public input about how the grant funds should be used, and to determine how much local funding may be available. Applications are due July 15; federal funds will be disbursed October 1...."
"...If you're following the controversy over Gov. Perry's veto that could cost Texas' community colleges $154 million in funding, a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education is taking up that issue right now..."
"...Bob Griggs, R-North Richland Hills, also kicked in $1,000 to the cause. A former school superintendent, Griggs rankled House leaders last spring with his declaration that House Bill 2 the school bill opposed by educators was equivalent to "junk food" because it failed to provide funding beyond the initial "sugar rush." Griggs is not seeking re-election this year...."
"...The project they're most excited about is their new program of administered grants to independent filmmakers. Established in 1987 as a non-profit organization, the Austin Film Society plans to serve as an umbrella organization for individual funding efforts..."
"...Yet none of that comes close to filling the hole left by a $5.4 billion cut in 2011. That's a situation repeated in higher education, where there was no tuition relief, and counties shoulder an ever-growing share of community college funding..."
"...Beyond the arguments concerning the curriculum changes, other charges cited in the letter include: 1) discriminatory funding of high-minority-student-population schools; 2) discriminatory access to gifted and talented programs; 3) "gross underfunding" of charter schools with large numbers of African-American students; 4) disproportionate and unjustifiably greater discipline of minority students; 5) structural discrimination in the use of accountability standards...."
"...With a paltry $1.9 billion in the kitty, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, wants to move closer to full-formula funding: Significantly for Austinites, her SB 982 would limit recapture (better known as "Robin Hood") to districts wealthier than Austin Independent School District..."
"..."This is a distraction from the fact that these guys have failed five times now to address school funding," said Louis Malfaro, head of AISD teacher's union Education Austin, referring to legislative efforts to replace the current school finance system. "We're dying out here."..."
"...30, after Chronicle deadlines), the Central Health Board of Managers was expecting the results of an "Agreed Upon Procedures" review performed by local CPA firm Atchley & Associates (Travis County's external audit firm). Auditors reviewed the financial transactions of Dell Medical School at UT-Austin included in the 2017 "Community Benefit Report" summarizing Dell Med's spending of the annual $35 million in funding provided by Central Health (via its Community Care Collaborative with Seton Healthcare)..."
"...Nonetheless, its future is now in the balance as grant funding has run out, the pair is on the hunt for more, and when – or whether – season three of the KLRU program will ever air remains unclear. "So much good comes out of that show" and would be a loss if it didn't continue, said Acevedo, a two-time guest on the program...."
"...As Mims discovered, seemingly isolated incidents at public universities around the country – e.g., the dramatic defunding of Louisiana State University and the ousting of presidents at the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia – were in fact part of the same ideological clash playing out in Texas. "It kind of morphed from one movie into another movie as we did more research," says Mims..."
"...UT President Emeritus Peter Flawn fired back that "[u]niversity degrees are not widgets." The report does not distinguish between huge lower-division lecture courses and the more intensive upper-division courses with smaller staff-to-student ratios, nor does it account for hard-science courses, for which each credit hour represents multiple lab hours. Texas State Employees Union Vice President Mike Gross said, "We just think there's no basis for using credit hours as a way to quantify productivity." Meanwhile, UT contends with a 10% drop in state funding, from $778 million in the 2010-11 biennium to $702 million in 2012-13..."