This Week in Texas: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Posted October 30, 2019 in The Mignon Memo

Texas House Committee on Public Education Meets in Austin

On Monday, the House Public Education Committee met in Austin to learn about the implementation of the school finance reform bill passed during the recent legislative session.  House Bill 3, an $11 billion measure, increased funding for Texas school districts by increasing the basic allotment for each student, providing teacher pay raises and funding full-day Pre-K for all eligible students.

Legislators heard from Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath concerning issues with the measure’s implementation, such as the agency’s power to resolve any problems with the law before the Texas Legislature meets again in 2021.  Also discussed was the lack of clarity school districts face in predicting the amount of funding they will receive as they wait for final calculations from the state on things like tax revenue and funding for low-income students.  To help explain the complex new law, TEA began posting weekly web videos this summer – the series is scheduled to continue until June 2020.

Have You Heard About Texas 2036? 

In 2036, Texas will turn 200.  By then, 10 million more Texans are expected to call this state home.  Growth has always been a part of Texas, but it will bring new challenges as leaders try to preserve the best parts of Texas and expand opportunity for all citizens.  That’s where Texas 2036 comes in, a nonprofit organization working to build statewide support for sustained, data-driven planning efforts, led by Founder and Chairman Tom Luce and President and CEO Margaret Spellings.  The organization’s website explains that Texas 2036 is focused on engaging “Texans and their leaders in an honest conversation about our future, focusing on the big challenges.  We offer non-partisan ideas and modern solutions that are grounded in research and data to break through the gridlock on issues that matter most to all Texans.”  The website features a weekly blog, a good way to keep up with the important issues being studied by Texas 2036.

Only in Austin…

For the third year in a row, Amanda and Joel Pace are transforming their South Austin home into Diagon Alley ATX Halloween House.  For months the family has been as busy as house-elves constructing additions to the Harry Potter-themed attraction, which will be open to muggles and wizards alike from Halloween evening through November 2nd.  This year’s version features Hogwarts Castle, wizard shopping district Diagon Alley, Eeylops Owl Emporium, the Knight Bus, Hogwarts Express and the dome of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

Happy Halloween and remember to vote!