Newsletter: Our latest efforts in TX Education

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter about Texas students’ preparedness for life after high school. To receive this weekly highlight of our work, sign up here.

Texas 2036 remains committed to data-driven solutions that support public schools and improve student outcomes. This session, Texas 2036 is working hard to maintain a strong assessment and accountability system, continuing data-driven reforms like House Bill 3 (86R), and increasing funding for Texas public schools.

We support more teacher pay, better resources for teachers and an enhanced curriculum for Texas students. Here’s a look at our latest efforts in education.

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Are Texas students prepared for life after high school? 🎓

Texas 2036 and the George W. Bush Institute use data to explore career preparedness and its impacts on Texas’ future prosperity in their upcoming report “The State of Readiness: Are Texas Students Prepared for Life After High School?” Here’s a preview:

Money Talks: Texas is booming thanks to economic opportunities that draw people to the Lone Star State.

  • But beneath this success lies concerning trends that call into question if Texas students are ready to compete in the Lone Star economy.

Cause for Concern: Too many Texas students do not have the knowledge and skills to succeed in their next grade, much less in the workforce.

  • 60% of Texas students do not do math on grade level and 48% do not read on grade level.

Why this Matters: Lack of readiness has lifelong consequences.

  • Between now and 2036, over 70% of the jobs in Texas will require a postsecondary credential.
  • Only 22% of Texas eighth graders currently earn a postsecondary degree or credential within six years of high school graduation.

Looking Ahead: To ensure future success, Texas must strengthen measurement and accountability, enhance available workforce data, and ensure student readiness.

Read more.

Readiness Newsletter Action Center artDo you think Texas students are career, college or military ready after high school? 🧐

Let us know.

Critical ways to support teachers 🧑🏻‍🏫

Moving Forward: Last month, the Teacher Vacancy Task Force released its final report, which focuses on teacher compensation, teacher training and support, and working conditions.

  • The Task Force was established in March 2022 to examine teacher retention and recruitment challenges across Texas.

Key Takeaways: The report is thoughtful and expansive, offering different tools that the Legislature could deploy this session to support teachers.

  • These policy solutions could result in a higher quality of life for our educator workforce.

Texas 2036 Take: We are particularly excited about recommendations around raising teacher take-home pay and the emphasis on high-quality instructional materials as a tool to reduce teacher workload.

Increased salaries and lower health care premiums would help with teacher salaries.

Dive deeper.

Education makes its mark at the Capitol 🏛

Readiness Newsletter MLP videoAssessments and Accountability: As we near the halfway point for the 88th Legislature, Senior Policy Advisor Mary Lynn Pruneda breaks down the need to address public school accountability this session.

  • ICYMI: A recent analysis by the Texas Education Agency found that only 19% of surveyed reading assignments in Texas elementary schools were on grade level.

Hear the explanation.

Funding the Future: Mary Lynn also testified on the need to raise teacher salaries in public education and improve the quality of curriculum during last month’s Senate Committee on Finance and House Appropriations Committee hearings.

  • “If a child is not receiving grade-level instruction, how are they going to do on a grade-level test like the STAAR?”

Watch the testimony.

Hot Topics: The Senate Finance Committee also held a budget hearing offering an overview of the Texas Education Agency. Policy Analyst Gabe Grantham shared the top five highlights from the meeting.

  • They included teacher retention, student mental health and more.

Read the key takeaways.

Extra credit: 3 things to know 📝

  1. The bill filing deadline is today. Get a refresh of oureducation priorities for this legislative session.
  2. Texas voters strongly back ensuring rigor in the public education curriculum. Find out where they stand on other education issues in ourTexas Voter Poll.
  3. Virtual education is another priority for Texas 2036. Learn more about its impacts on Texas’ future workforce in our Advanced Coursetaking Dashboard.