Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune | KERA News

Aliyya Swaby, Texas Tribune

Aliyya Swaby started as the public education reporter in October 2016. She came to the Tribune from the hyperlocal nonprofit New Haven Independent, where she covered education, zoning and transit for two years. After graduating from Yale University in 2013, she spent a year freelance reporting in Panama on social issues affecting black Panamanian communities. A native New Yorker, Aliyya misses public transportation but is thrilled by the lack of snow.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Two days after Gov. Greg Abbott released a 40-page school safety plan, Texas House and Senate leaders ordered their committees to study ways to limit shootings and increase protections in Texas public schools before students return in August.

Tiffany Szerpicki

For school districts with chronically failing campuses, a recently passed law that allows them a reprieve from state sanctions was supposed to be a lifeline. A year on, less than a tenth of those districts are on track to take advantage of it.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency will levy a $100,000 financial penalty against the New Jersey-based company that develops and administers standardized tests, after tens of thousands of Texas students were kicked out of the testing software or encountered connection problems while taking computerized State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams in April and May.

Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

RICHARDSON — Jaculyn Zigtema, a special education director in Whitehouse ISD in East Texas, told state education officials Monday that she planned to hire two diagnosticians, four teachers and two behavioral specialists to handle an anticipated spike in students considered eligible for special education.

Laura Skelding

* Update, April 13: On Friday, the State Board of Education gave its final approval to development of the Ethnic Studies: An Overview of Americans of Mexican Descent course. 

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Texas got final approval Monday from the U.S. Department of Education for its school improvement and accountability plan, including a portion of its new system for grading schools.

Eddie Seal / For The Texas Tribune

After gathering thousands of responses from parents and advocates, the Texas Education Agency has sketched a new plan for educating kids with disabilities — with limited money.

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Over her 16 years on the State Board of Education, Pat Hardy has rallied for her share of socially conservative measures. She's endorsed keeping "pro-American" values in history textbooks. She's backed emphasizing "states' rights" instead of slavery as the cause of the Civil War. And she's supported teaching "both sides" of arguments around climate change.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education is considering creating standards for an official Mexican-American studies high school course, after two failed attempts to approve a textbook for the subject.

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency released a preliminary plan for reforming special education Thursday.

Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

After a federal report blasted Texas for failing kids with disabilities, educators and public education advocates are pointing the finger directly at state legislators who, they argue, first suggested capping special education to keep costs low.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House on Friday passed a package of bills that would put $1.8 billion into public schools and help out struggling small, rural school districts.

The Senate Finance Committee on Saturday approved a proposal Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listed as a priority for Texas education: providing bonuses and pay raises for long-term teachers, and reduced health-care costs for retired teachers.

Bob Daemmrich / For the Texas Tribune

Texas legislators could end up passing bills to reform the state's school finance system and help out retired teachers this special session.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

With less than a week before the start of a special session of the Texas Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick laid out a proposal Thursday to give teachers bonuses and increase their retirement benefits, with plans to pay for both long-term using money from the Texas lottery.