No teacher raises. A failed school voucher push. Armed guards. Here’s what changed for public education this legislative session.
Lawmakers sacrificed school funding to block school vouchers, but the issue could be debated again in a special session. Districts will get new funds for school safety, though Uvalde families were ultimately left disappointed with inaction on gun restrictions.
No teacher raises, no voucher program: Lawmakers fail to reach compromise on school funding bill
The end of House Bill 100 is a bittersweet victory for public education advocates who vehemently oppose school voucher programs but lament that schools won’t get additional funds to pay for teacher raises or balance their budgets.
“Somber day” in Uvalde as community commemorates one year since Robb Elementary shooting
Numerous vigils and memorials were planned in Uvalde to mark one year since the Robb Elementary School shooting. In what became the deadliest school shooting in Texas, a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers and injured 17 others.
Listen: Through art, keepsakes and advocacy, families are making sure the 21 Uvalde victims are not forgotten
Wednesday marks exactly a year since a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde. The community continues to grapple with the trauma and pain, and for those who lost someone that day, they’re determined to keep the memories of their loved ones alive.
Texas Senate again advances proposed restrictions on lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation
For the third time, the Senate is pushing a proposal critics say will ignore the existence of LGBTQ people in every grade level. Two other bills that contained similar language missed key legislative deadlines.
Texas Senate committee revises school funding bill in last-minute bid to implement voucher program
Texas senators have latched education savings accounts to a school funding bill in a last-ditch effort to avoid a special session. But some House members are furious at the revamped version and have vowed not to let it become law.
Texas House’s weekend off means key Senate bills die after missing a legislative deadline
Priority bills that died include a 10-year minimum sentencing for gun-related crimes, a ban on “critical race theory” at public universities and LGBTQ-related legislation. While the bills may be dead, lawmakers have a limited time to attach their ideas to legislation that are still alive.
Texas House advances $4.5 billion school funding bill
Lawmakers have already proposed directing billions of dollars to schools so they can lower property taxes and pay for safety upgrades. But House Bill 100 would be the first to increase the amount of money districts receive to raise teacher pay and cover the actual costs of educating students.
Texas House votes to require panic buttons in every classroom and armed guards in every school
Lawmakers have said school safety is a priority this session, but it is still unclear whether they’ll listen to Uvalde families who want to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic guns from 18 to 21.
In overnight testimony, Uvalde victims’ family members call on Texas lawmakers to raise age to buy semi-automatic guns
The families of Uvalde shooting victims waited hours to testify at a House committee hearing in support of House Bill 2744, which would raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic guns from 18 to 21.
After House vote signaling opposition to school choice, Gov. Greg Abbott says the fight isn’t over
The House voted 86-52 on Thursday to amend the budget to ban state funding for “school vouchers or other similar programs.” Abbott has spent the past two months touring the state to build support for the proposal, spending tremendous political capital on trying to break through the rural Republican opposition to it.
In East Texas, skepticism over private school tuition assistance persists despite push from conservative leaders
Gov. Greg Abbott and other conservatives say families need options to escape “woke” education in public schools. East Texas parents and school leaders say the national talking points are off base.
At schools across Houston, students and parents protest Texas Education Agency’s takeover of state’s largest district
At one elementary school, protesters chanted as the school day was about to begin. Parents sought petition signatures at a high school. The demonstrations are planned throughout the day.
Gov. Greg Abbott is turning up the pressure on passing school choice. Will it pay off?
Passage of a school choice measure is anything but a sure bet, as there is little evidence that the governor has been able to convince rural Republicans in the Texas House — who have for years been a reliable firewall — to drop their opposition.
Texas lawmakers’ attempts to ban school library books deemed inappropriate for kids spur confusion — and concerns
The authors of bills in both legislative chambers say their bills’ aim is simple: keeping sexually explicit content off school bookshelves. But opponents say the legislation is vague and broad enough to wreak havoc.
Bill that would give parents state funds to pay for private schools moves to the full Senate for a vote
Education savings accounts, which are similar to vouchers, are a priority of Gov. Greg Abbott this session. Texas senators also advanced a bill that would give raises and other benefits to teachers.
LGBTQ groups criticize Texas bill’s broad restrictions on school lessons and activities about sexuality and gender identity
Senate Bill 8 supporters say the legislation protects the rights of parents who don’t want their kids to learn about gender identity and sexual orientation. Critics say it could force schools to ignore the existence of LGBTQ people.
Houston ISD families blast the state’s takeover of the district as an intervention that won’t improve student learning
Parents and students of the Houston Independent School District decried the state’s decision to take control of the school system. Despite the news, many questions remain about how it would affect them.
Texas Families would get $8,000 in tax dollars to send students to private school in sweeping ‘parental rights’ bill backed by Lt. Gov.
The bill, which has the blessing of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, will create new rules on how gender and sexual orientation is taught. It will face a tougher test in the House.
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan’s new priority bills focus on school safety, requiring districts to adopt active-shooter plans
More than nine months after the Uvalde school shooting, top GOP lawmakers maintain focus on school safety reforms and investments in mental health resources in hopes it will prevent future tragedies.
Lawmakers could use $5 billion of a record surplus for raises, flood prevention and border operations
Budget proposals would boost state spending for the current budget cycle for projects ranging from mental health hospitals to state pay raises. This would leave $27 billion in surplus for next two years.
Texas Republicans have filed dozens of bills affecting LGBTQ people. Here’s what they’d do.
Texas lawmakers this year are debating whether to block transgender kids’ access to transition-related health care, classify businesses that host drag shows as sexually oriented establishments and limit public school lessons on sexuality and gender identity.
Republican Texas lawmakers rally around bill restricting the college sports teams transgender athletes can join
Seventy-seven Texas House Republicans signed on as co-authors to state Rep. Valoree Swanson’s bill extending restrictions on transgender athletes to college sports. Gov. Greg Abbott has expressed support for the legislation, which is also a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
A Texas lawmaker wants voters to decide whether legislators deserve a raise
State Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, has proposed an amendment to the state constitution to raise legislator pay and tie it to teachers’ pay, saying it would give lawmakers a living wage and allow a broader range of Texans to serve.
In a Central Texas county, high schoolers are jailed on felony charges for vaping what could be legal hemp
Police often can’t tell if a cannabis vape pen is derived from marijuana or legal hemp, like the delta-8 products on display in gas stations across Texas. That doesn’t stop them from from making felony arrests in high schools.
This Texas town has the highest rate of youth attempted suicides in the state. A grieving father hopes to reverse it.
According to a new analysis by a national health care company, Lubbock has the highest rate of attempted suicides by children between the ages of 6 and 17. A local leader suggests a dearth of resources isn’t helping.
In audio, high-ranking TEA official admits public school funds could drop with voucher-like programs
“School districts, what they have to do if they lose a student, [is] be smart about how they allocate their resources and maybe that’s one less fourth grade teacher,” Steve Lecholop, a TEA deputy commissioner, said in a call with a parent that was secretly recorded.
Texas senators seem open to major change in state’s public education funding formula
Senators in the finance committee asked questions Monday about the pros and cons of basing the amount of money that schools get per student on enrollment instead of attendance. Districts say the change could mean millions in additional funding.
At parental rights event, Gov. Greg Abbott sheds light on how he’d implement “school choice” policy
For the first time, Abbott makes it clear which policy he supports. Bills that would allow parents to get state money to send their kids to schools outside of the state’s public education system have been floated previously, but top lawmakers believe the policies will pass this session.
Texans should avoid travel in regions hit with icy weather as power grid expected to meet demand
School closures and hazardous road conditions are expected throughout a large portion of Texas, according to forecasts. State officials caution Texans about local power outages but expect the grid to stay up.
With full state coffers and bipartisan support, Texas teachers are hopeful they’ll get a raise this year
The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and burnout have pummeled teachers in the last few years. Lawmakers from both parties agree they should get a pay bump — but it won’t happen without some negotiation.