Legislative Update: School finance, test scores and a special election

The parties in the Texas school finance litigation headed back to court today to discuss changes that might alter District Judge John Dietz’s February 2013 preliminary oral ruling that stated that Texas’ system of paying for public education was unconstitutional.

Dietz has reopened the trial to consider any new evidence that might change his prior conclusion. The state is arguing that additional funds appropriated by the Legislature in 2013, along with changes to graduation and student testing requirements, should put to rest claims that the system is insufficiently funded.

Related Teach the Vote content: Read ATPE Executive Director Gary Godsey’s op-ed on school finance.


The Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports an increase in cumulative scores for end-of-course exams. In a press release issued today, the agency says 76 percent of the state’s high school juniors have passed the tests now required under House Bill 5, and that they “are on track to graduate.”


Early voting is taking place this week in the Austin area for a special runoff election to fill the vacant Texas House of Representatives seat of former Rep. Mark Strama (D–Austin) in House District 50. Tuesday, Jan. 28 is the date of the official runoff election.

Related Teach the Vote content: Visit the 2014 Races page to view profiles of all candidates for legislative and State Board of Education seats on the ballot this year.

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