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There is a chart on page 205 of the newest edition of a wonky and essential Texas government publication called “Fiscal Size-Up: 2018-19 Biennium.” You might not be running to look it up — only a particular order of nerds do that — but these numbers from the Legislative Budget Board are going to be the centerpiece of a lot of conversations and arguments over school finance for the next two years. That agency, currently co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, has been producing the reports since 1952 to give lawmakers a periodic look at where things stand in the state’s budget. view article arw

The Carroll ISD board of trustees unanimously approved its 2019 legislative platform during a Monday meeting. Identified priorities focus on issues related to school safety, finance, curriculum and local control. Trustees Michelle Moore and David Almand spearheaded the development of the platform to identify crucial issues relevant to CISD students and educators. view article arw

Public school employees, retirees and supporters are encouraged to use their “teacher voice” at a rally scheduled Saturday in Longview. The goal of the Use Your Teacher Voice and Vote rally is to send a bipartisan, pro-public education message before the November election and the start of January’s legislative session, organizers said. view article arw

Katherine Turner-Pearson, 60, an archaeologist lately involved in the La Pila excavation project in Waco’s long-vanished “Calle Dos” neighborhood, seeks election to the Texas House of Representatives for District 56, which encompasses much of North Waco, West Waco, Woodway, Hewitt, McGregor, Robinson, Crawford, Lorena and Moody. Running as a Democrat, she has sat on the McLennan County Tax Appraisal Review Board and the Waco-based Community Race Relations Coalition Board. view article arw

Growth leads to need for new schools

October 1207:45 AM
 

When voters head to the polls later this month, there will be a lot of important races on the ballot. Most voters will be thinking about races like Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke for the open U.S. Senate seat or Greg Abbott against Lupe Valdez for governor. But further down the ballot will be a question — actually two questions — that will probably impact local voters more than anything on the ballot. Those questions, or propositions, will be asking voters to allow Alvin ISD to borrow money to build new schools and a tax ratification election that will have the state pay for the bonds over time.  view article arw

Thousands of student voter registrations at Prairie View A&M could have the wrong address listed, causing confusion on campus as to whether the registrations are valid. view article arw

Harris County added more than 11,000 voters to its rolls in the final week before the registration deadline, the last wave in a surge of half a million new Texas voters since the March primaries. view article arw

Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) met with local superintendents from Orange County. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss education issues in preparation for the 86th Legislature which convenes in January. “The Legislature faces many challenges this session, and we cannot make good decisions unless we are listening closely to those we represent,” said Nichols. “Education is and always will be one of the most important issues we face as a state.” view article arw

There is a chart on page 205 of the newest edition of a wonky and essential Texas government publication called “Fiscal Size-Up: 2018-19 Biennium.” You might not be running to look it up — only a particular order of nerds do that — but these numbers from the Legislative Budget Board are going to be the centerpiece of a lot of conversations and arguments over school finance for the next two years. That agency, co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, has been producing the reports since 1952 to give lawmakers a periodic look at where things stand in the state's budget. view article arw

Drew Landry, a professor at South Plains College, is the Democratic challenger to state Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-District 83) in the midterm election. Landry, who's provided political analysis for FOX34 in the past, said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick's leadership is one of the greatest issues facing Texans. A guest on the News@Nine, Landry said -- if elected -- he will openly oppose Patrick and his legislative agenda. view article arw

AUSTIN — Today Yesterday marks the final day for Texans to sign up to vote on Nov. 6 in an election year that has already seen a surprising surge in registration. Yet, despite a new record in midterm voter registrations, experts warn the challenge will be getting voters to the polls. Texas ranks bottom of the pack nationwide in voter turnout. The last time more than half of registered voters cast a ballot in a midterm election was 1994, when Democratic Gov. Ann Richards lost to Republican George W. Bush, according to state data. view article arw

Another Schwertner update

October 1008:15 AM
 

The investigation is happening. The University of Texas on Monday acknowledged it has received a complaint about state Sen. Charles Schwertner from a student, and that it has collected evidence as part of an investigation into him, marking the first official acknowledgement of the school’s inquiry into whether Schwertner sent a sexually explicit photo and message to a graduate student he met this summer. view article arw

Many education organizations have put together websites and materials to assist educators in getting out the vote. Share this flier with school employees and encourage them to turn out for this important election. The Texas Tribune has compiled a list of the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians who will be on the ballot in statewide, congressional, and legislative offices and the State Board of Education. See the list. Also, the Texas Parent PAC, a bipartisan political action committee for parents and others who support high-quality public education, has released its list of endorsements of Texas legislative candidates. read more arw

First came the calls to keep children safe — no matter the cost. Then came the grants and donations to pay for some of the increased security.But now comes the question: How will Santa Fe ISD afford the substantial costs of increased security following the May 18 massacre that killed 10 and wounded 13 at the district’s lone high school? And how will other districts that followed suit in fear and at the pleading of concerned parents and politicians manage to maintain their beefed up security?  While Texas lawmakers have called school safety a funding priority for the upcoming Legislative session that begins in January, finding money to sustain the salaries of additional counselors, social workers and security personnel for the long haul is a tall order.  view article arw

The need for class size waivers is not the most ideal situation for C-FB ISD, but factors such as state funding and fluctuating enrollment numbers make them almost unavoidable. Texas law limits a ratio of 22 children per one teacher for kindergarten through fourth grade. Like many school districts, C-FB ISD has had several class rooms to exceed that limit. According to district officials, C-FB ISD requested 59 waivers in 2011-12, 77 waivers in 2012-13, 59 waivers in 2013-14, 28 waivers in 2014-15, 0 waivers in 2015-16, 12 waivers in 2016-17 and 10 waivers in 2017-18. This year the district approved 19 waivers. view article arw

Seeing education as a defining issue in the Nov. 6 election, two Democratic candidates for statewide office stood in the hot sun Thursday afternoon in Austin to accept the endorsement of a pro-public-schools political action committee. Texas Parent PAC threw its support behind lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier and attorney general candidate Justin Nelson, saying their policies and funding priorities have the best chance of creating “top-notch” public schools across Texas. view article arw

Two candidates are vying for the position of State Representative District 15 and will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election. Lorena Perez McGill and Steve Toth are both running for the position, currently held by State Rep. Mark Keough-R, The Woodlands, who is not seeking re-election this year. Instead, Keough is running for the position of Montgomery County Judge. view article arw

Candidates running for local office in the Nov. 6 general election addressed several concerns related to public education during a question-and-answer forum moderated by Southlake Mayor Laura Hill on Wednesday evening at the Colleyville Center. Among the 10 candidates in attendance were incumbent Texas House representatives Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, and Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, for Districts 92 and 98, respectively. State Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, was not present but sent her legislative director, Christopher Paxton, in her stead. view article arw

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos today issued the following statement and guidance to Texas voters regarding voter registration websites that purport to assist voters in registering to vote online in the State of Texas: read more arw

We already knew the Legislature was going to start its January session without a House Appropriations Committee; naming a new budget-writing panel will follow the election of a new speaker of the House. Now there’s a new kink in the preparation of the state’s next two-year budget: Ursula Parks, the beleaguered director of the obscure but critical Legislative Budget Board, is retiring at the end of the month. Her departure is notable for a couple of reasons that have nothing to do with Parks and everything to do with the finances at the heart of state government. The LBB has played the part of the rope in a fierce tug-of-war between the House and the Senate. view article arw

Today Texas Parent PAC, the influential bipartisan political committee, announced its endorsements of Mike Collier for Lieutenant Governor and Justin Nelson for Attorney General. read more arw

Texas Parent PAC, the influential bipartisan pro-public education political action committee, will endorse Mike Collier for Lt. Governor and Justin Nelson for Attorney General. view article arw

The lone gubernatorial debate between Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and his Democratic opponent, former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, took place Sept. 28 in Austin.  If that description sounds wooden, it is. Abbott offered to appear with the lady sheriff once, on a night when many Texans would be at high school football games, to show he wasn’t scared to meet with her. But once is it. view article arw

Nearly 100 retired teachers who spent their careers shaping young minds schooled state candidates on financial issues educators face Wednesday during a forum in Wichita Falls. They cited steep medical costs for both working and retired teachers in a divided system that offers better health insurance to state employees and lawmakers such as those who spoke before the Texas Retired Teachers Association – District 9. view article arw

Robin Hood is the most important thing facing Texas Legislature when the next session begins in January. That was the message from state Rep. Tom Craddick for those on hand at the League of Women Voters’ forum Tuesday night at Midland College. Craddick told those in attendance he was one of 12 people in 1993 to vote against the current way Texas funds education. “Robin Hood” is the name for the system that takes money from so-called property-rich districts and sends it to property-poor districts. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency heads to court Wednesday to challenge a ruling by the U.S. Department of Education that would strip millions of dollars in federal special education grants from the state. KXAN's media partners at the Texas Tribune report the case dates back to the 2011-12 school year, when the state decreased its own spending on special education from the year before by $33.3. million. view article arw

As the presiding officer of the Texas Senate, the lieutenant governor is the second-highest executive office holder in the state, holding nearly as much power as the governor. Republican incumbent Dan Patrick is seeking his second term, opposed by Democrat Mike Collier and Libertarian Kerry Douglas McKennon this November. Early polls showed Patrick leading Collier by a double-digit margin. Patrick also holds a large fundraising advantage over his opponents, having raised $14.5 million through the first half of 2018. view article arw

The Center for Public Policy Priorities is proud to release four more sets of data guides and candidate questions. These resources will help Texans create dialogue during candidate forums and meetings with public officials.  Each guide focuses on an important aspect of childhood well-being, containing data and facts on one side and specific questions for candidates or public officials on the other side.  Use these guides to help you ask about topics including: view article arw

Close to half the constituents in Texas House District 121 have children under the age of 18, so education is always an important issue to voters living in the North Side district. When the state legislature gathers in Austin come January, education will be front and center, with issues like charter school expansion, school safety, public school finance, and accountability on lawmakers’ minds. The two candidates vying to replace retiring state Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) are touting their experience in education and in serving parents and students in HD 121. view article arw

Incumbent Governor Greg Abbott and his challenger in the November 2018 election, Lupe Valdez, disagreed over several issues, including the arming of classroom teachers in public schools, Friday evening in a televised debate. Nexstar Media Group hosted the only debate between Abbott and Valdez.  The two faced each other from Austin at the LBJ Presidential Library.  Within the first few minutes of the debate, the two candidates were asked to raise their hand if they support teachers being allowed to have concealed weapons.  Abbott raised his hand.  Valdez did not. view article arw

Texas is a prosperous state, but lawmakers are failing to adequately finance public education and communities, and students are suffering the academic, physical and economic consequences. The upcoming legislative session provides a unique opportunity for our state’s elected leaders to right the past wrongs, but a preliminary budget request from the Texas Education Agency projects a $3.5 billion decline in state funding over the next few years. view article arw

House candidates outline priorities

October 0207:45 AM
 

Passing Monica’s Law, providing property tax relief, improving education, expanding highways and repealing Robin Hood are top priorities for Rep. Brooks Landgraf, who is running for reelection Nov. 6 against Democrat Armando Gamboa, also of Odessa. Gamboa said schools need to be funded properly and roads need repair. He also believes in expanding Medicaid to offer healthcare to more Texans and is against detention of immigrant families and having local police officers hold detainees for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also wants to protect women’s reproductive rights. view article arw

Texas is a prosperous state, but lawmakers are failing to adequately finance public education. Communities and students are suffering the academic, physical and economic consequences. The upcoming legislative session provides an opportunity for our state's elected leaders to right the past wrongs, but a preliminary budget request from the Texas Education Agency projects a $3.5 billion decline in state funding over the next few years. view article arw