Texas DPS absolves its leaders of wrongdoing after investigating migrant mistreatment claims
Five months after a Texas Department of Public Safety medic told his superiors that troopers were ordered to push migrants back into the Rio Grande and deny them water, an internal DPS investigation found no systemic wrongdoing by its personnel on the Texas-Mexico border.
UTSA announces plans for closure of Inclusive Excellence office amid higher education landscape shift
San Antonio’s largest public university is charting a new course for its soon-to-be-closed Office of Inclusive Excellence. The move comes as public universities in Texas grapple with a shifting Texas higher education landscape.
Texas Legislature adjourns fourth special session — leaving vouchers, school safety and elections bills unfinished
The latest casualties were Senate Bill 5, which would spend $800 million on school safety measures through 2025, and Senate Bill 6, which would change the timeline of a trial after an election contest is filed by a citizen or group.
After school voucher bill falls apart, supporters and opponents get ready for future fights
The Texas House’s vote to block education savings accounts disappointed voucher advocates and likely spelled doom for additional public school funding. Both bands say they’ll keep pushing for their priorities during next year’s primary elections and the 2025 legislative session.
With GOP priorities unfinished, Texas House plans to wrap fourth special session Tuesday
The decision to end work Tuesday leaves long odds for bills to boost school safety funding and make sure that election challenges don’t delay the implementation of property tax cuts, teacher pension raises and infrastructure spending.
Texas Legislature sends $1.54 billion bill for border barriers to Gov. Abbott
Senate Bill 3 would also appropriate $40 million for state troopers to patrol Colony Ridge, a housing development outside of Houston, and allow the state to send money to local jurisdictions to offset the cost of enforcing another immigration-related bill.
School voucher fallout leaves Texas Legislature with no clear sense on next steps
Vouchers were left without a clear path forward after a decisive vote Friday. Gov. Greg Abbott, who had threatened lawmakers with more special sessions to pass the proposal, seems to have turned his attention to punishing voucher opponents in next year’s primary elections.
“Our public school system is our town”: Why this rural Republican is voting against school vouchers
Despite intense political pressure, Republican Rep. Gary VanDeaver said he won’t support a bill that includes school vouchers. Rural Republicans like VanDeaver have long opposed school vouchers because of the unique role public schools they play in their communities.
Federal judge seems wary of Texas ban on TikTok at public universities
Last year, Texas joined more than 30 other states in banning TikTok on government-issued cell phones and computers. A nationwide coalition of professors are suing the state over the ban, arguing it has limited their ability to teach and research the social media app.
“People aren’t thinking about us”: How new ban on COVID-19 vaccine mandates impacts medically-vulnerable Texans
The ban applies to all private businesses, including health care facilities like hospitals, which can jeopardize the health of those with compromised immune systems or other underlying conditions.
Texas House committee advances school voucher bill, overcoming key hurdle
The committee action means school voucher legislation is poised to get its first House floor vote in recent history. Gov. Greg Abbott said if the Legislature fails to pass it this time, he will continue to call them back into session until they do.
As third Texas special session wraps up, legality questions arise for three border security bills
The third special session for the Texas legislature wraps up on Tuesday. Gov. Greg Abbott has already signed one bill on COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but little headway has been made on school choice. In the meantime, three bills related to border security are moving through the legislature.
The Texas House’s new priority education bill offers concessions to sway voucher skeptics
The revised bill promises a significant funding increase for public schools and academic accountability measures for students participating in the proposed voucher program, two of the biggest requests from voucher opponents.
Fighting between legislative leaders imperils Texas border security bills
The governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker generally agree on building more border barriers and making illegal border crossings a state crime. But disagreements over strategy and personal animosity mean those measures face long odds this special legislative session.
Texas GOP lawmakers’ border and education wishlist would expand state budget by $2.7 billion — and counting
If bills now being considered pass, lawmakers will be left with $3.3 billion to take care of unforeseen costs over the next two years. Some experts worry that Texas can’t sustain its massive spending on the border and public education.
State Senate approves bill to spend $1.5 billion for border walls, more policing of Liberty County development
Along with the money to build more border barriers, Senate Bill 6 would devote $49 million to beef up law enforcement of the Colony Ridge development that’s become a target of far-right media.
Gov. Abbott directs Texas schools to resources for teaching about Israel-Hamas war
As tensions have flared in the escalating conflict and protests have spread across Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Education Agency would provide resources to schools to counter misinformation and antisemitism.
Voucher proposal spurs mix of excitement, wariness in Texas home schooling community
Parents of Texas’ growing population of home-schooled students are split over whether education savings accounts would give them much-needed financial help or represent an unwanted government involvement in their kids’ educations.
Texas House priority bill increases education spending in exchange for creating voucher program
House Bill 1 would make an educational savings account program available to 25,000 Texas students in its first year, with increased participation to follow. The governor’s office indicated that the proposal was lacking.
How Texas lawmakers are trying to deter illegal immigration and secure the border
Two Texas House members and an immigration lawyer sat down with Matthew Watkins, the Tribune’s managing editor of news and politics, to discuss the current state of Texas’ border and immigration bills that lawmakers are weighing during the special session.
Ban on COVID vaccine mandates by private businesses, including health care facilities, passes Texas Senate
The bill offers no exceptions for doctors’ offices, clinics or other health facilities. Senators agreed to let those entities require unvaccinated employees to wear personal protective gear or take other “reasonable” measures to manage the spread.
School voucher bill gets initial approval in the Texas Senate, heads over to a more skeptical House
The Senate also approved Senate Bill 2, which would infuse $5.2 billion to school districts to help them with teacher raises and rising costs. Gov. Greg Abbott said he would add those items to the special session’s agenda once lawmakers approve a voucher program.
Gov. Abbott vows unwavering support for Israel, orders flags flown at half-staff
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday strongly condemned this weekend’s acts of war against Israel and innocent civilians by the terrorist group Hamas and vowed comprehensive public safety measures for Israeli and Jewish locations across Texas.
Vouchers return this special session — and school funding might be left out. Here’s what you need to know.
Gov. Greg Abbott called lawmakers back to Austin to try again to pass education savings accounts, which would let families use state funds to pay for their children’s private schooling. Teacher pay was not part of his agenda.
Colony Ridge developer defends Houston-area community as state leaders vow action against it
GOP leaders claim the development markets to undocumented people and is plagued by crime. One of its owners refutes the allegations and says he’s ready to show lawmakers that Colony Ridge isn’t different than any other rural Texas community.
Gov. Greg Abbott orders special lawmaking session to begin on Oct. 9, likely on school vouchers
greg-abbott-texas-legislature-school-choice-vouchers This third special session comes as a rift between the Texas House and the Senate grew following Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial, raising questions about the chambers’ ability to compromise on education issues.
Ken Paxton emerges victorious from yet another career scandal
It marked a screaming milestone in a two-decade political career that has seen Paxton harness the state’s increasingly conservative politics — and later the rise of Donald Trump — to stay in power longer than his vulnerabilities would suggest.