More Columns

The gas pump is no place for a child to play

How we spend the first few years of our lives has dramatic implications for how we will spend our adult years. Early childhood is a time of learning and growth: physical, emotional, and intellectual. Universal Pre-K would ensure that all young children have access to spaces where their brains can grow in developmentally appropriate ways.

How the wind saved Starr County

Everyone likes a good comeback story, and Starr County’s is one I am happy to tell. As a rural border community, we have seen our share of difficult times, and the budget is always one of our biggest challenges. Finding the funds to meet the needs of our residents can be difficult, and just two years ago, we were forced to take out loans to keep the county running. Jobs were lost and critical government departments, including the sheriff's office, saw severe budget cuts. Our situation was dire.

A school finance detail that could cost local districts $1.8 billion

There is nothing to be gained by switching to current-year property values for school finance, other than giving the state an extra $1.8 billion — and shorting local schools by the same amount. It would be far better to provide local education leaders with the predictability and the consistency needed to budget responsibly. It would be far better to stick with prior-year values.

Texas lawmakers must balance teacher pay raises and student needs

Public education cannot be what our state requires if we don’t provide the resources our children need. We must also address head on the many systemic challenges that hinder its success. The question we raise is simply whether the first step in transforming our public education outcomes should focus primarily on our teachers or our students. We believe that our report represented an appropriate balance that focused on both.

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