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Texas Public Schools

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Monday at 12:30 p.m. on "The Source" – An $11.6 billion plan to reform school finance in Texas unanimously passed through both the Texas House and Senate and is on Gov. Abbott's desk for final approval. 

House Bill 3, or the Texas Plan for Transformational School Finance Reform, includes $6.5 billion to improve public education and pay teachers, plus $5.1 billion to lower school district taxes. 

Lauren Terrazas / Texas Public Radio

After years of contentious debate, the Texas State Board of Education approved a Mexican American Studies (MAS) curriculum in 2018. Now, members of the community have an opportunity to learn how they can implement the courses into classrooms at the 4th Annual Statewide Summit on Mexican American Studies for Texas Schools.

Then, a new historical marker honors Tejano music legend, Lydia Mendoza.


Courtesy of Rosa Lidia Vásquez Peña

In the late 19th century, many Mexican-Americans were shut out of the public education system because they couldn’t speak English. So, the community responded by creating its own schools.

Philis Barragán Goetz, assistant professor of History at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, shared the history and significance of “escuelitas.”

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Courtesy SAISD

For numerous years, many school districts across Texas have seen the state’s portion of their funding steadily decrease.  House Bill 21 this legislative session was an effort to begin turning that trend around by rewriting what’s referred to as “the formulas”- the equations used for determining how much state funding is appropriated.

The Texas Cultural Trust has a new website that tracks arts education programs at school districts across the state. The map is one way the trust is encouraging parents and students to push for more art education in their local schools. There you can see programs broken down by elementary, middle and high schools in each school district. It looks at how many arts credits were earned by students, the number of art courses offered and the number of students per arts teacher. 

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First Amendment rights may apply to all citizens, but they get tricky in the setting of public schools. Schools want to protect their educational environment but law professor Catherine J. Ross argues schools have gone too far. 

Texas Courts.gov

 

 

In 2007, the El Paso Independent School District accused Laura and Michael McIntyre of failing to teach their nine children reading, writing and math.

 

District officials said an uncle reported the parents weren’t teaching the subjects because they were waiting “to be raptured”- waiting to be transported to heaven when Jesus reappears on earth.  

 

Ryan E. Poppe

 

The state’s agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, is celebrating his first six months in office by listing off a number of aggressive and somewhat controversial initiatives his office will be undertaking.  

  

 

In the annual State of Agriculture address on Wednesday, Miller said, “There’s three things we don’t tolerate at the TDA, we don’t tolerate horse thieves, cattle rustlers and cheats. We’ll come get you.”

 

 

 

Ryan E. Poppe

The head of public education for the Texas House has a plan for changing the state’s school finance system and boosting per pupil spend at most schools. On Tuesday, a legislative committee will debate the impact of the bill and how Texas currently funds schools.

The last time the Legislature adjusted the per pupil funding formula was in 1991, but since then, the number of families in the state has nearly doubled. That’s one of the reasons why, in 2014, a state judge ruled in favor of school districts that sued the state over the state’s school finance system.

House Public Education Committee Chairman, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, a Republican from Killeen, has introduced a bill that attempts to change how much the state is spending per student. It adds an additional $2.2 billion to the total formula and changes how much money comes back to high value property districts. But Aycock isn’t coy about the fact that not every district will see a large increase.

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