“We need to align our education policies from K-12 through higher education and workforce development.” HOUSTON – During the 88th Legislative Session, Lt. Gov. Patrick plans to make the Senate Committee on Higher Education a sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Education. Therefore, effective immediately, Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, will serve as Chair of the Senate Committee on Education during the interim to prepare for the upcoming legislative session. Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Education through the interim. Upon making these changes, Lt. Gov. Patrick issued the following statement: view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Democrats Mike Collier and Michelle Beckley are heading to the May 24 primary runoff for Lt. Governor after finishing as the top two candidates and ahead of the Texas Democratic Party, Dr. Carla Brailey. Collier won 413,228 votes or 41.5%, while a Beckley received 300,892 votes or 30.2%, and Brailey attracted 281,156 votes or 28.3%. As they head to the second round of the primary, they each explained why they believe they’re the best Democrat to take on Republican incumbent Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Beckley said, “I am the one who’s been the Democrat the longest in the, in this race, like my entire life, and I am an elected official. I am definitely the stronger candidate having been elected.” view article arw

Jan Resseger reviewed the federal education budget for next year and found it disappointing. Although schools received large grants to get them through the COVID crisis, the other big budget promises evaporated. With private school choice programs draining money away from the public schools that educate the vast majority of our children, this is bad news indeed. The scandal-scarred federal Charter Schools Program was once again funded at $440 million, after being heavily lobbied by the charter school lobby. This means that the federal Department of Education is the biggest funder in the nation of charter schools, which also are supported by a plethora of billionaires like Gates, Waltons, DeVos, Koch, Bloomberg, and more. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency will add 24 teachers to a task force studying educator shortages across the state, nearly doubling the size of the group that originally included only two teachers, agency officials announced Tuesday. The task force, its creation announced last week by Gov. Greg Abbott, has been charged with helping school districts address ongoing shortages by investigating the challenges, exploring the best options to address them and researching what Abbott described as “the possibility for flexibility of certification, placement and hiring.” When announced, the 28-member group contained 16 superintendents, including Aldine Independent School District’s LaTonya M. Goffney; one assistant superintendent; nine administrators — such as chiefs and directors of different operations at various districts — and two teachers, one from McAllen and Highland Park ISDs. With the addition of two dozen teachers, the group will grow to 52 individuals, evenly divided between teachers and administrators.    (16) view article arw

If you were there, the title of Gretchen Stoeltje's documentary needs no explanation. If you weren't, and you know who Wendy Davis is and why, but you didn't watch it unfold in real time, Shouting Down Midnight will get you up to speed quite effectively. But then-state Sen. Davis, D-Ft. Worth, delivered her epic filibuster to thwart the last draconian abortion bill (the one before Senate Bill 8, or maybe the one before that) back in June of 2013, and Stoeltje's been making this movie ever since, so it's gratefully not just an episode of Progressive History Channel, but a story about people for whom that day was the beginning of an arc that has not yet ended.   view article arw

After 2021’s winter storm electric blackouts, Texas lawmakers worked to shore up the state’s electric grid. But they’re not finished, despite what you might hear from campaigning politicians.    (16) view article arw

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office has sued the Biden administration 20 times in Texas federal courts over everything from mask mandates to immigration policies. Trump-appointed judges have ruled in seven of them, all in favor of Texas. read more arw

Texans could make substantial changes to the amount of property taxes school districts generate for school operations this spring in the form of two constitutional amendments. And while the measure received bipartisan support in the 87th legislative session, there are questions about how this will impact local school districts in the future. Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) support the motion and recommend voters approve it. “I plan to support both amendments on my own personal ballot in May, but I encourage voters to research each proposal and make an informed decision at the polls based on the merits of each amendment and their own personal beliefs,” Ashby said. Attorney Wayne Haglund, who has represented the Lufkin school district for a number of years, expressed concern about the measures and encouraged voters to think through the decision. He took issue with the language used and how the state proposes to maintain this level of expenditure on public schools.    (11) view article arw

You call a popular, busy restaurant to make a reservation. They tell you they only take reservations from 5 to 6 p.m. You make a note to call back. When you do, the line is busy and you can’t get through. They didn’t prevent you from dining there. They just made it too hard. It’s easy to see that they’re going to lose some customers, but maybe it doesn’t matter — maybe they’re so busy and profitable that they can afford to make things inconvenient. Now imagine letting the managers of that restaurant run your elections.    (09) view article arw

With counting holdups and missed ballots marring what amounted to a low-turnout election, Harris County's election administrator has announced she is resigning amid pressure from local leaders of both political parties to explain what went wrong in last week’s primary. Houston-area voters saw relatively few issues on election day, but days later the state’s largest county faced a 10,000 vote-sized problem. Over the weekend, Harris County election officials announced that thousands of mail-in ballots — 6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican — had been mistakenly left off the county’s vote tally. This came after unofficial results were significantly delayed in part because more than a thousand ballot sheets were damaged as voters tried out the county’s new voting machines.    (09) view article arw

In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed two bills — House Bill 3979 during the 87th regular and Senate Bill 3 during a subsequent special session — that outline ways in which certain topics, including race, must be addressed in classrooms. At the same time, the issue of how library books and supplemental instructional resources, such as books teachers may assign a class to read, became a topic of intense interest and debate. Round Rock ISD is in compliance with the new laws and will closely review new updates to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to ensure all policies and procedures are in alignment. Current state standards, especially in language arts and social studies, require students to examine text, create strong arguments, evaluate both primary and secondary sources and consider the world around them. Topics regarding race, gender and class are often a part of teaching these standards. Teachers follow Administrative Policy EMB when teaching controversial or sensitive subjects. Round Rock ISD’s goal is to create safe learning environments for all students no matter what subject is being taught. view article arw

Democrats in the region still had higher turnout, but Republicans celebrated the narrowing of the gap. Despite the improvement, nearly 87% of registered voters in the Rio Grande Valley did not vote in the primary, similar to the rate in 2018. view article arw

In the latest salvo in Texas Republicans’ fight against what they portray as indoctrination and obscenity in schools, several Republican state representatives are asking Texas school district officials to pledge not to buy books from vendors that have supplied schools with what the lawmakers deem pornography. State Rep. Jared Patterson, R-Frisco, sent a letter on Wednesday to school districts asking school officials to sign the pledge. In his letter, Patterson said children across Texas have been exposed to material such as “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” a graphic novel that has become a lightning rod both nationwide and in Texas among some parents and Republican officials. The book, by Maia Kobabe, depicts the author’s experiences growing up and struggling to identify as gay, bisexual or asexual. It contains a few pages of explicit illustrations depicting oral sex, which have outraged some parents and state leaders. view article arw

The Center Square) – Seven Democratic congressional races are heading to a May 24 runoff election in Texa after no single candidate received 50% of the vote in the March 1 primary election, according to election results published by the State Secretary of State’s Office. Several districts saw major shakeups due to the 2020 redistricting process, incumbents retiring or running for another office, among other factors, which prompted multiple candidates to run for office. Two races may flip Republican in November – one is in a newly created district in a Republican area; two are in districts whose incumbent Republican representatives are unlikely to lose in November. The most watched and controversial race was that of incumbent Congressman Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, who received just shy of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff election. Seven Republicans ran in the Republican primary, hoping to flip the district red. view article arw

Donald Trump could decide who gets the GOP nomination for attorney general of Texas and, in the process, could be a factor in runoffs farther down that party’s ballot in May.The former president’s endorsement of Ken Paxton, the besieged incumbent AG, was central to Paxton’s first-place finish in the first round of the primaries. It wasn’t enough — Paxton is on his way to a runoff with Land Commissioner George P. Bush — but it kept him alive.  If that race draws a crowd — it will be at the top of the GOP’s runoff ticket — the voters Paxton and Bush lure to the polls will be voting in down-ballot races. And because runoffs typically have even lower turnout than primaries, small changes in who votes could have an outsize effect. A wave of Trump Republicans could be a boon to conservatives in other runoff races, and a bad omen for candidates who aren’t in the former president’s fold. view article arw

The 6,000 Democratic primary votes could be enough to impact the results in the races for attorney general and one state House seat.  HOUSTON — Two notable Democratic primary races have gained a new level of uncertainty after Texas’ largest county said it “identified approximately 10,000 mail-in ballots (6,000 Democratic and 4,000 Republican) that were not added into the original Election Night count.”Harris County said the weekend after Tuesday’s primary election that the ballots were scanned into its tabulation computer but “were not transferred and counted as a part of the unofficial final results as they should have been.” The results from those ballots will be added to the vote count on Tuesday, the county said.  In the Democratic race for the seat to represent parts of downtown and northeast Houston in the statehouse, incumbent state Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr. leads challenger Candis Houston by 136 votes, 50.8% to 49.2%. view article arw

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, Rep. Van Taylor apologized to supporters for an extramarital affair and abruptly dropped his bid for re-election. The woman involved, a Plano resident named Tania Joya, has made headlines before for a different reason. She’s been dubbed the “ISIS bride” by British tabloids, and The Atlantic has called Joya “the first lady of ISIS.” Joya’s first husband, John Georgelas, who grew up in Plano, converted to Islam and became a top recruiter for the extremist Islamic State. view article arw

Taylor made the stunning announcement hours after he finished his five-way primary with 49% of the vote. Former Collin County Judge Keith Self, who finished second, is now likely to become the next congressman for the 3rd District.  U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, R-Plano, has decided to end his reelection campaign after he was forced into a primary runoff amid 11th-hour allegations of infidelity.  Taylor made the stunning announcement Wednesday, hours after he finished his five-way primary with 49% of the vote, just missing the cutoff for winning the primary outright. The runner-up was former Collin County Judge Keith Self, who is now likely to become the next congressman for the 3rd District.  "About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world," Taylor wrote in an email to supporters. "I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters."    (03) view article arw

 Letter of resignation to Gov. Abbott last night,    (03) read more arw

While races at the top of the Texas primary ballots ended with outright victors, setting November general election matchups, several statewide primary contests are heading toward a runoff. For races in which no candidate received more than half of the vote, the top two vote-getters will face off on May 24. Here are the key runoff matchups:  "We look forward to uniting Texans against Dan Patrick, who is destroying our beloved state with his dangerous brand of partisan politics," Ali Zaidi, Collier's campaign manager, said on Twitter.  Both parties will need a runoff to determine an ultimate winner, with incumbent Ken Paxton collecting 43% of the GOP primary vote to take on state Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who was second with 23%. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott and most other statewide elected officials won their primaries Tuesday night. But Attorney General Ken Paxton was forced into a runoff, and progressive Democrats fell short of their congressional goals.  The activist wings of both major political parties entered the Texas primary hoping to shake up state leadership. But as the votes kept rolling in Wednesday morning, it became clear the results would fall short of ushering in a sea change.  Texas’ top Republicans mostly fended off challengers in the GOP primary Tuesday. Meanwhile, a slate of progressives made inroads in Democratic primaries for Congress — but fell short of their goal of an immediate sweep that would reshape Texas’ U.S. House delegation.  Gov. Greg Abbott decidedly trounced right-wing opponents Don Huffines, a former state senator, and Allen West, former head of the Texas GOP and one-term Florida congressman — solidifying his hold on the Texas Republican base. Abbott will face Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman, in the general election after O’Rourke easily won his party’s nomination for governor. view article arw

Bush is the underdog in the race. He had fewer votes than Paxton in the primary, and Paxton carries the coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump. But the incumbent is still battling his felony indictment and a newer FBI investigation.  Ken Paxton wasted no time Wednesday morning, jumping on a conservative talk radio show in the early hours to start building his case against his opponent in the Republican primary runoff for attorney general.  “If conservatives unite … we can end the Bush dynasty,” he said of George P. Bush, the last remaining member of the state’s most well-known political family to hold office in Texas.  “I think a lot of Republicans have had enough of it,” Paxton told Lubbock radio host Chad Hasty later Wednesday. “The Bushes have had their chances. It’s time for the dynasty to end. It’s time for somebody to get in there and fight and not capitulate to the establishment.”  Late Tuesday night, Paxton and Bush, the land commissioner, bested two other Republicans — former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler — in what was the most competitive and contentious primary race of the season. view article arw

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit and nonpartisan news organization dedicated to helping you navigate Texas policy and politics — including the 2022 elections. We’re tracking the results of the Texas 2022 primary election happening March 1. Texas voters chose party nominees for statewide seats, including governor, and newly drawn, district-based congressional and legislative seats. Those nominees will face off in the general election in November. If no candidate in a primary election received a majority of the vote, the top two vote-getters go head-to-head in a runoff in May. view article arw

Harris County voters were among the losers in this year’s Texas primaries.  Our voting rights have been made subject to the micromanagement of state leaders. And while local leaders have been stalwart in defense of those rights, they fumbled the ball on Tuesday in terms of actual election administration.  By the later side of the evening, many results in the state, and the region, were clear enough. Gov. Greg Abbott, for one, cruised through his primary, mustering fully two-thirds of the vote against seven GOP challengers. The performance raises the question of why the governor seemed nervous about this primary, and whether he really needed to throw so much red meat along the way. view article arw

Candidates that support Texas public schools celebrated significant victories in the Republican primary last night. On the eve of Texas Independence Day, these incumbents declared their independence from the deep pockets of right-wing extremists that are trying to destroy your neighborhood schools. We congratulate those candidates: Stan Lambert, Ken King, David Spiller, Gary VanDeaver, Travis Clardy, Reggie Smith, Ernest Bailes, Giovanni Capriglione. “Yesterday’s primary elections proved decisively, in the reelection of pro-public education incumbents, that Texans overwhelmingly support their neighborhood and community public schools – and oppose the privatization of them through vouchers and charters,” said Reverend Charles Foster Johnson, founder and Executive Director of Pastors for Children. “These House seats cannot be bought by a couple of right-wing billionaires, no matter how many millions they put up.” view article arw

Primary election results will be delayed Tuesday night due to a provision in the new state law, McLennan County Elections Administrator Jared Goldsmith said. The delay is part of new procedural requirements calling for each voting center to print out a report on voting machines before they are returned to the county election office to be tabulated. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday at 34 Election Day voting centers throughout the county. Voters may cast their ballot at any one of the voting centers, regardless of their home precinct. Election officials said voters should familiarize themselves with the ballot from their precinct before heading to the polls Tuesday. Goldsmith said the printed report requirement may delay election results up to 90 minutes. view article arw

Every couple of months, Adamalis Vigil drives eight hours from the Rio Grande Valley to North Texas so her 13-year-old transgender daughter Adelyn can receive health care. They talk and sing the whole trip. The care she receives there is unavailable in her hometown but pivotal to her sense of identity — and her mental health. “It makes me feel who I truly am, and I don't feel singled out for not being like other girls in school anymore,” Adelyn said. “It's just very special for me that mom takes me all the way over there.” Adelyn Vigil, 13, left, a transgender girl, her cousin Aylette Reyes, 13, center, and her mother Adamalis Vigil, 34, pass th… From left: Adelyn Vigil and her cousin Aylette Reyes, both 13, passed their time on Sunday with Adelyn's mother, Adamalis Vigil, 34, at a relative’s home in the Rio Grande Valley. Credit: Verónica G. Cárdenas for The Texas Tribune Adelyn — who stands tall at 5 feet, 5 inches and is outspoken in class — had been having panic attacks in school as she approached puberty. After she started seeing the doctors in North Dallas, the attacks stopped. view article arw

Austin ISD's superintendent said this week that trans kids in the district should continue to feel safe at school, after Texas' attorney general issued an opinion saying some medical care they seek should be considered child abuse. “We protect all our kids at Austin ISD," Stephanie Elizalde wrote on Twitter, "no matter what, and that goes for our trans kids, too.” view article arw

EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said her office will not follow recent directives by state leaders calling on Texas agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for transgender children as child abuse. A new order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott calls for criminal penalties against those who aid minors in their gender transition through medical treatments such as puberty blockers or hormones. The order applies not only to the parents of transgender children, but also to doctors, nurses and teachers, according to the letter he sent the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and other state agencies on Tuesday. view article arw

The Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce on Thursday hosted Texas Rep. and House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont at a legislative luncheon to discuss a number of legislative priorities. The event was held at the conference center at the Holiday Inn on Walden Road and drew a full crowd in one of the hotel’s ballrooms. Sen. Brandon Creighton, Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Joe Deshotel were all invited to attend but were unable for various reasons. Sprinkling his speech with occasional jokes that made the audience chuckle, Phelan spoke at length on a variety of legislative priorities. After a quick recap of the previous two years, from the outbreak of the pandemic to Winter Storm Yuri and education funding issues, Phelan said that it had been a difficult season but still, legislators had much to be proud of. view article arw

The state House Public Education Committee on Tuesday considered more than 30 bills aimed at making Texas public schools safer, including measures that would put more armed personnel on campuses and give districts money for sweeping security changes. The Legislature has made improving school safety a priority this session after 10 people, mostly students, were shot and killed at Santa Fe High School 10 months ago. The shooting spurred roundtable discussions and studies among policymakers, lawmakers and Gov. Greg Abbott in the immediate aftermath. “Out of that loss, we have an opportunity to devote ourselves and commit ourselves to seeing that their loss was not in vain and that future students, future teachers, future families in this state will, if at all possible, not have to experience what these individuals experienced,” said Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, during Tuesday’s hearing. view article arw

Property tax reform has been a top priority for Texas lawmakers from the start of the 86th legislative session. The early filing of identical, wide-reaching bills in the House and Senate in January—Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2—sparked debate on the topic and earned pushback from many local entities that could be affected by the proposals. The twin bills propose to lower the cap for local entities’ annual tax revenue growth from 8 percent to 2.5 percent and to improve efficiency and transparency in the tax system. The proposals were fast-tracked for debate in both chambers after Gov. Greg Abbott declared property tax an emergency item in February, and dozens of related bills have been filed in their wake. view article arw

Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller are back on the lesson plan after a vote by the Texas State Board of Education. The committee voted 12-2, with one abstention, on Tuesday to continue teaching students about Clinton in high school history classes, according to State Board of Education Director Debbie Ratcliffe. The board also voted to keep Keller on the curriculum. The vote reverses a September preliminary decision to cut the women, along with 1964 Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and several other historical figures, from the required curriculum. The board said then that the change was intended to streamline the curriculum for its 5.4 million students at the recommendation of volunteer work groups. view article arw

School finance was the big-ticket item this legislative session, said Emett Alvarez, Victoria Democrats Club president. "Education should be important to everyone," Alvarez said. "We are all taxpayers and are affected by it one way or the other." The Victoria County Democratic Party will host its club meeting Tuesday at VeraCruz Restaurant, 3110 N. Navarro St. Guest speakers will be Dwight Harris, former president of the Victoria chapter of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, and Ray Thomas, who is running for chief justice of the 13th Court of Appeals. view article arw

Will there ever come a day when our state leaders and lawmakers want to make Texas as good a place for children as it is for business? The 85th legislative session didn't seem often inclined in that direction, particularly in matters related to educating the state's schoolchildren. A massive funding failure for prekindergarten students. The state Senate's defeatist response to a solid House attempt at school finance reform. Out-of-proportion talk about vouchers for those attending private schools. But let's not overlook a couple of bright spots. Thanks to skillful work by three North Texas lawmakers, the state's youngest learners should eventually get the gift of better-prepared teachers. view article arw