Published: Apr. 11, 2013
Fort Worth Star-Telegram


AUSTIN -- Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said Thursday that the amount of education cuts imposed by the 2011 Legislature was "more on the order of $800 million" and disputed the widely reported figure of $5.4 billion.

Published: Mar. 21, 2013
Texas Tribune

by Morgan Smith

This is one in a series of occasional stories based on the records in our Public Schools Explorer.  

When Texas administers the last round of TAKS exams to 11th graders in April, it will mark the end of a 10-year period that saw the state’s public school students’ scores on the standardized tests soar.

Published: Feb. 8, 2013
Austin American-Statesman

By Dan Patrick

For nearly two decades, the debate over how to improve Texas schools has largely been a battle between voucher proponents and advocates for more funding. Meanwhile, other states have developed new education models that are producing higher-achieving students nationwide. Texas must move past this old, narrow debate and implement the best thinking from around the country to dramatically improve our schools.

Published: Jan. 21, 2013
Austin American-Statesman

By Melissa B. Taboada

American-Statesman Staff

The number of six-figure salary earners in the Austin school district has jumped 63 percent in the past five years, at a time when the district has had to tighten its belt and cut jobs, an analysis by the American-Statesman has found.

Seventy of the district’s 11,973 employees make more than $100,000. That’s up from 56 in 2011-12. In the 2007-08 school year, 43 of the district’s 11,571 employees earned at least that amount.

Published: Jan. 17, 2013
The Associated Press

The head of the state’s largest business lobbying group testified during the school finance trial Thursday that poor schooling in Texas has left many of the state’s firms without enough qualified applicants to fill job vacancies.

Bill Hammond is head of the Texas Association of Business, which has joined a group of conservative activists and former state officeholders in arguing that pouring more state funding into public schools won’t improve classroom learning because the underlying way Texas funds education has become too inefficient.

Published: Nov. 28, 2012
The Wall Street Journal

Here's the bizarre world in which we live: In 2007 Gabriel Evans attended a public school in New Orleans graded "F" by the Louisiana Department of Education. Thanks to a New Orleans voucher program, Gabriel moved in 2008 to a Catholic school. His mother, Valerie Evans, calls the voucher a "lifesaver," allowing him to get "out of a public school system that is filled with fear, confusion and violence."
So what is the response of the teachers union? Sue the state to force 11-year-old Gabriel back to the failing school.

Published: Nov. 17, 2012
Amarillo Globe-News

By John Colyandro & Brent Connett

The decades-long saga of school finance litigation re-opened with a new trial in Austin, with school districts sounding an all-too-familiar refrain: “more money now.”

As school districts sue the state over an alleged lack of resources, rarely does school district debt enter the public discussion.

Published: Oct 9, 2012
The Wall Street Journal


Last week's presidential debate revealed one area of agreement between the candidates: We need more teachers. "Let's hire another hundred thousand math and science teachers," proposed President Obama, adding that "Governor Romney doesn't think we need more teachers."

Published: Aug 8, 2012
The Wall Street Journal


We have big problems with our schools—and need new ideas about how to fix them. Deep changes are needed in our attitude toward teaching, leading education scholar Diane Ravitch wrote recently in the New York Review of Books. We need smarter, better-educated recruits to the profession. We need to value a teacher's experience properly and discard the thought that idealistic college graduates with no experience make brilliant teachers automatically.

Published: Sep. 27, 2012
Bloomberg Businessweek

By Kathy Warbelow on September 27, 2012

Texas isn’t a place you’d expect to see the words “equalized wealth,” but there they are in the state’s education code. The so-called Robin Hood provision passed in 1993 requires that school districts with taxable property values above a certain level, currently $319,500 per student, surrender some of their revenue to poorer communities.