Here comes STAAR? Budget crisis prompts concerns about new test

IN THE MIDST OF A LIVELY DEBATE about whether the Texas Legislature should delay putting into place the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), the new, more rigorous testing system scheduled to start next school year, the Texas Education Agency is continuing to move forward (as it is required to do) with plans to roll out the new system as planned.

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ISSUES OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION: What the financial crisis means to education

The 82nd legislative session is in full swing and the bill filing deadline has passed. Here, we address some of the more crucial questions and alert you to a dozen bills that you will want to keep an eye on. While it’s too early to predict what will happen for sure, we give you a few of our predictions for what probably won’t happen. For the latest, most current information, watch for our weekly eUpdates; if you aren’t on our e-mail list, visit our website at, where you can sign up in seconds.

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House dips into Rainy Day Fund

9:00 p.m.

By a vote of 142-2, the House tentatively approved HB 275, appropriating $3.1 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help cover a shortfall in the current-year budget. State leaders have indicated that they do not support additional use of the fund to address funding deficits in the 2012-13 budget, which is next on the House’s agenda (debate on HB 1 begins Friday).