Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B. Travis State Office Building in Downtown Austin. Mike Morath a member of the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees, was appointed commissioner of education by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015 and began serving on Jan. 4, 2016. Prior to the late 1940s, Many school districts in Texas did not operate schools but spent money to send children to schools operated by other districts. In the late 1940s state lawmakers passed a bill abolishing those districts, prompting a wave of mass school district consolidation. TEA is responsible for the oversight of public primary and secondary education in the state of Texas, involving both the over 1,000 individual school districts in the state as well as charter schools, it is responsible for the safety of students. However, it does not have any jurisdiction over parochial schools nor over home schools.
Although school districts are independent governmental entities, TEA has the authority to oversee a district's operations if serious issues arise. This can be in the form of requiring the district to submit corrective action plans and regular status reports, assigning monitors to oversee operations, in extreme cases closure of a school campus or the entire school district; the University Interscholastic League, which oversees academic and athletic interscholastic competition in Texas public schools, is a separate entity not under TEA oversight. In addition to primary and secondary education, TEA has oversight duties with respect to driver's education courses and defensive driving courses. On November 7, 2007, Christine Comer resigned as the director of the science curriculum after more than nine years. Comer said that her resignation was a result of pressure from officials who claimed that she had given the appearance of criticizing the teaching of intelligent design. In 2009, the Board received criticism from more than fifty scientific organizations over an attempt to weaken science standards on evolution.
In 2010, a group of historians, including Jean A. Stuntz of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, signed a petition to oppose the revisions in the social studies curricula approved by the state Board, changes which require the inclusion of conservative topics in public school instruction. For instance, Jefferson's name must be restored to a list of Enlightenment thinkers. There must be emphasis on the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in regard to property rights. Students must be taught that new documents, the Venona project, verify U. S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's suspicions of communist infiltration of the U. S. government during the post-World War II era. Stuntz told the Amarillo Globe-News, they don't know what they're doing."In October 2012, The Revisionaries, a documentary film about the re-election of the chairman of the Texas Board of Education Don McLeroy and the curriculum controversy was released. In late January 2013, PBS's Independent Lens aired an abridged version the film.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio said that the government should "take a look" at the structure of the Board and consider a nonpartisan or appointed board if the elected members are "not getting their job done and they're not pleasing the Legislature or the citizens we ought to take) a thorough look at what they are doing." In 2010, it was said to be "drafting its own version of American history", including altering school textbooks to remove what it said was a "left leaning bias" and making changes that are said to have "religious and racial overtones". For example, the proposed curriculum would downplay Thomas Jefferson's emphasis on the separation of church and state, would include a greater emphasis on the importance of religion to the founding fathers. Other changes include downplaying Abraham Lincoln's role in the civil war and putting more emphasis on the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, questioning the Civil Rights Movement in addition to downplaying Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy, removing such instances and points of history such as downplaying slavery, putting more emphasis on the states rights cause during the Civil War.
Critics of the proposed changes believe that such a focus on the religious elements of the founding period could cause teachers to omit lessons on history more pertinent to national standards. The current Commissioner of Education is Mike Morath. A former member of the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees, he was appointed commissioner of education by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015. The commissioner's role is to manage the Texas Education Agency; the Commissioner co-ordinates efforts between state and federal agencies. TEA is overseen by a 15-member State Board of Education, elected from single-member districts for four years; the board devises policies and sets academic standards for Texas public schools, as well as overseeing the state Permanent School Fund and selecting textbooks to be used in Texas schools. Since 2011, the board can still recommend textbooks, but public school districts can order their own books and materials if their selections are not on the state-approved list.
So far, most districts have continued to follow
Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Historical Commission is an agency dedicated to historic preservation within the state of Texas. It administers the National Register of Historic Places for sites in Texas; the commission identifies Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks and recognizes them with Official Texas Historical Marker medallions and descriptive plaques. The commission identifies Historic Texas Cemeteries. A quarterly publication, The Medallion, is published by the agency and includes news and advice about preservation projects, Texas’ historic sites, heritage tourism opportunities; the agency maintains the online Texas Historic Sites Atlas featuring more than 300,000 site records, including data on Official Texas Historical Markers and National Register of Historic Places properties in Texas. The commission has main offices in the Capitol Complex in downtown Austin. Established in 1953, the state legislature created the Texas State Historical Survey Committee to oversee state historical programs; the legislature revised the agency’s enabling statute to give it additional protective powers, expand its leadership role and educational responsibilities, changed its name to the Texas Historical Commission.
In 2007, the legislature transferred management of 20 state historic sites from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to the THC. Today, the agency employs about 200 personnel; the Texas Historical Commission leadership is composed of 18 members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, serving overlapping six-year terms. All members must be citizens of Texas, together represent all geographical areas of Texas; the commission employs personnel in various fields, including archeology, economic development, heritage tourism, public administration and urban planning. These personnel consult with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas's architectural and cultural landmarks of balls and vagains The agency includes the following divisions dedicated to overseeing the agency's programs: Administration Architecture Community Heritage Development Historic Sites History Programs Public Information and Education Staff ServicesThere are several boards associated with the Texas Historical Commission: The State Board of Review The Antiquities Advisory Board The Guardians of Texas Preservation Trust Fund The Advisory Board of the Texas Preservation Trust Fund The Main Street Interagency Council The Texas Historical Commission administers this statewide heritage tourism program.
This program is based in the ten scenic driving regions that Texas Department of Transportation and Gov. John Connally designated in 1968 in connection with the World's fair in San Antonio, called HemisFair'68. After the fair, these trails were all but forgotten; the Texas Historical Commission began its program based on these historical designations in 1998, starting with the Texas Forts Trail. The goal of the program is to promote historic preservation; the THC divides Texas into 10 heritage regions: Texas Brazos Trail Texas Forest Trail Texas Forts Trail Texas Hill Country Trail Texas Independence Trail Texas Lakes Trail Texas Mountain Trail Texas Pecos Trail Texas Plains Trail Texas Tropical TrailIn 2005 the Heritage Trails Program won the Preserve America Presidential Award for exemplary accomplishment in the preservation and sustainable use of America's heritage assets, which has enhanced community life while honoring the nation's history. The Texas Historical Commission operates 22 state historic sites across Texas.
These unique places inspire an understanding of what it means to be a Texan. From American Indian sites to frontier forts to common and elegant homes and the leaders and statesmen who lived in them, these sites enrich people’s lives through history. Fort Griffin is home to the official State of Texas Longhorn Herd. Sponsors may apply for official historical markers through their county historical commissions; the purpose of the markers, which are available in a variety of types and sizes, is to educate the public. An application must meet certain requirements to be approved by the THC commissioners as qualifying for a marker. Beginning in November 2006, the Texas Historical Commission adopted a new marker program; the following are some of the major changes to the program: All applications are to be submitted electronically There is now an annual application deadline An application fee is required The inscription process has been reworkedAs of 2007, there are over 13,000 Official Texas Historical Markers placed throughout the state.
Texas has the most prolific state historical marker program in the United States. One of the devotees of the expanded historical marker program was Rupert N. Richardson, the Texas historian who served as a THC member from 1953–1967 and was from 1943-1953 the president of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene; the Historical Markers have been manufactured by The Southwell Company, located in San Antonio, Texas. In 1936 the company was awarded the contract to manufacture all of the bronze historical markers for the Texas Centennial. Since thousands of cast aluminum historical markers have been provided for the State of Texas. In 1976, the company was selected to manufacture all of the historical markers for the Bicentennial. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark is the highest designation given by the Texas Historic Commission for significant structures in Texas; the THC may designate certain locations as State Antiquities Landmarks provided that they are not located on federal lands. These locations may fall i
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is an agency of the U. S. state of Texas's government that oversees all public post-secondary education in the state. It is headquartered at 1200 East Anderson Lane in Austin; the board determines which Texas public four-year universities are permitted to start or continue degree programs. The board evaluates degrees from other states and other nations for use in Texas. However, operations of the various universities or systems are the responsibility of each university or system board of regents. From 1998 to 2003, it developed a new higher-education plan for the state, called "Closing the Gaps by 2015"; the plan's stated goal is closing education gaps within Texas, as well as between Texas and other U. S. states. The four main goals of closing the gap is to close the gaps in student participation, student success and research. 47,500 additional students will need to enroll at public and career institutions in fall 2015 to reach the final goal of adding about 630,000 students since fall 2000.
The board consists of seven members appointed by the Governor of Texas on a staggered basis. Their terms are for six years; the board appoints the Commissioner of Higher Education who oversees the daily operations of the board. Dr. Raymund A. Paredes is the current Commissioner. Pamela Willeford, 1998–2003 Robert Shepard, 2003–2009 A. W. "Whit" Riter, 2009–2011 Fred W. Heldenfels IV, 2011–2013 Harold W. Hahn, 2013– Ernest Angelo Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website
Texas State Cemetery
The Texas State Cemetery is a cemetery located on about 22 acres just east of downtown Austin, the capital of the U. S. state of Texas. The burial place of Edward Burleson, Texas Revolutionary general and Vice-President of the Republic of Texas, it was expanded into a Confederate cemetery during the Civil War, it was expanded again to include the graves and cenotaphs of prominent Texans and their spouses. The cemetery is divided into two sections; the smaller one contains around 900 graves of prominent Texans, while the larger has over 2,000 marked graves of Confederate veterans and widows. There is room for 7,500 interments; the guidelines on who may be buried within the Texas State Cemetery were first established in 1953, are set by Texas state law. All persons to be buried in the cemetery must be one of the following: A former member of the legislature or a member who dies in office. A former elected an official who dies in office. State official appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature who served at least 10 years in the office.
After September 1, 2015, this criterion may be used only upon approval of the State Cemetery Committee if it finds the official made a significant contribution to Texas history. Individual designated by governor's proclamation, concurrent resolution of the Legislature, or order of the State Cemetery Committee; the statute as written permits the committee to deny burial under this criterion if requested by the governor or Legislature. The spouse of anyone meeting the above criteria; the child of an eligible member, but only if he or she was dependent on another due to a long-standing physical or mental condition during the lifetime of one of the child's parents. After the death of Edward Burleson in 1851, the Texas Legislature arranged for his burial on land belonging to Andrew Jackson Hamilton. In 1854, the Legislature established a monument at Burleson's grave-site for $1,000 and purchased the surrounding land; the burial ground was ignored until the Civil War, when Texas Confederate officers killed in battle were buried there.
In 1864 and 1866 more land was purchased for veterans' burials. An area of 1-acre was set aside for graves of Union veterans; the remaining Union soldier is Antonio Briones, left at the request of his family. He is interred alone in the far northwest corner of the cemetery; because the Texas Confederate Men's Home and the Confederate Women's Home were located in Austin, more than two thousand Confederate veterans and widows are interred at the State Cemetery. Most were buried after 1889; the last Confederate veterans in the Cemetery were reinterred in 1944. In 1932, the State Cemetery had no roads. There was a dirt road running through the grounds of the Cemetery linked to what was called Onion Creek Highway; the road kept its highway status when Texas historian Louis Kemp brought it to the attention of the Texas Highway Department that the road running through the Cemetery should be paved. The roads, which are designated as State Highway 165, are dedicated to Kemp, were for a time known as "Lou Kemp Highway".
Kemp was the driving force behind the reinterment of many early Texas figures in time for the Texas Centennial in 1936. The cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, but by the early 1990s, the State Cemetery had fallen into disrepair—suffering from vandalism and decay—and was unsafe to visit. In 1994, after noting the condition of the Cemetery, Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock initiated a three-year project that added a visitor center and renovated the cemetery. In 1997, there was a reopening of the State Cemetery. A three-person Texas State Cemetery committee oversees operations at the cemetery. Benjamin M. Hanson is chairman. James L. Bayless and Carloyn Hodges serve; the senior historian is Will Erwin. Former Governor and United States President George W. Bush announced his intention to be buried in the State Cemetery. However, in August 2018, Bush decided he and his wife will be buried at his presidential center following their death; as of 2018, buried in the Texas State Cemetery are: 1 Navy SEAL 14 Governors of Texas 5 Lieutenant Governors of Texas 5 Speakers of the Texas House of Representatives 15 Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence 3 U.
S. Senators 6 U. S. Representatives 5 First Ladies of Texas 5 authors 16 Texas Rangers 11 Republic of Texas veterans 9 Confederate Generals 3 Medal of Honor recipients 2 American Revolutionary War veterans 1 17th-century French sailor First Texas Solicitor General 1 member of the Baseball Hall of Fame 1 astronaut In one episode of King of the Hill, Cotton Hill is awarded a plot in the Texas State Cemetery for his heroism during World War II. However, Cotton is never buried in this plot. Official website Texas State Cemetery searchable database. One can search by location in the cemetery. State Cemetery from the Handbook of Texas Online Political Graveyard list of politicians buried in the Texas State Cemetery. Where They R. I. P. Site dedicated to finding the burial locat
Constitution of Texas
The Constitution of the State of Texas is the document that describes the structure and function of the government of the U. S. state of Texas. The current document took effect on February 15, 1876, is the seventh constitution in Texas history; the previous six were adopted in 1827, 1836, 1845, 1861, 1866 and 1869. The current constitution is among the longest of state constitutions in the United States. From 1876 to 2015 the legislature proposed 673 constitutional amendments, of which 491 were approved by the electorate and 179 defeated. Most of the amendments are due to the document's restrictive nature: the State of Texas has only those powers explicitly granted to it by the Constitution. However, despite its length, it is not nearly as long as the Alabama Constitution nor the California Constitution; as with many state constitutions, it explicitly provides for the separation of powers and incorporates its bill of rights directly into the text of the constitution. The bill of rights is lengthier and more detailed than the federal Bill of Rights, includes some provisions unique to Texas.
Article 1 is the Texas Constitution's bill of rights. The article contained 69 sections; some of the article's provisions concern specific fundamental limitations on the power of the state. The provisions of the Texas Constitution apply only against the government of Texas. However, a number of the provisions of the U. S. Constitution are held to apply to the states as well, under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Section 4 purports to prohibit office holders from the requirements of any religious test, provided they "acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being"; this conflicts with the U. S. Constitution's No Religious Test Clause, would certainly be held unenforceable if challenged, as was a similar South Carolina requirement in Silverman v. Campbell, a broader Maryland restriction in Torcaso v. Watkins. Section 32 denies state recognition to same-sex unions, a practice, invalidated as a consequence of Obergefell v. Hodges. Article 2 provides for the separation of powers of the legislative and judicial branches of the state government, prohibiting each branch from encroaching on the powers of the others.
Article 3 vests the legislative power of the state in the "Legislature of the State of Texas", consisting of the state's Senate and House of Representatives. It lists the qualifications required of senators and representatives, regulates many details of the legislative process; the article contains many substantive limitations on the power of the legislature and a large number of exceptions to those limitations. As with the United States Constitution, either house may originate bills, but bills to raise revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. Section 39 allows a bill to take effect upon the Governor's signature if the bill passes both chambers by a two-thirds vote, unless otherwise specified in the bill. If the bill does not pass by this majority it takes effect on the first day of the next fiscal year; the largest Section within this article is Section 49. Section 49 limits the power of the Legislature to incur debt to only specific purposes as stated in the Constitution. Section 49-g created the state's "Rainy Day Fund".
Article 4 describes the powers and duties of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Commissioner of the General Land Office, Attorney General. With the exception of the Secretary of State the above officials are directly elected in what is known as a "plural executive" system. Under Section 16 of this article, the Lieutenant Governor automatically assumes the power of Governor if and when the Governor travels outside of the state. Article 5 describes the composition and jurisdiction of the state's Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, District and Commissioners Courts, as well as the Justice of the Peace Courts. Article 6 denies voting rights to minors and people who are deemed mentally incompetent by a court, it describes rules for elections. Article 7 establishes provisions for public schools and universities. Section 1 states, "it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools".
This issue has surfaced in lawsuits involving the State's funding of
Texas School for the Deaf
Texas School for the Deaf is a state-operated primary and secondary school for deaf children in Austin, Texas. The oldest public school in Texas, continually in operation, it was first opened in 1857 "in an old frame house, three log cabins, a smokehouse." The school struggled under inadequate funding during the American Civil War and its aftermath with the students eating food that they grew themselves on the school farm. In 1951 the State Board of Education assumed oversight of the school; the Texas Legislature created the Texas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb in 1856, five trustees appointed by the Governor of Texas governed the new institution. The superintendent of the deaf school was appointed by this board; the school opened in January of the following year. By the summer of 1857 there were 11 students enrolled, until around 1870 the enrollment was 13. During the U. S. Civil War teachers and students made wool clothes and farmed in order to support themselves because the school was unable to pay salaries to the teachers.
Around 1868 the school was renamed to the Texas Dumb Institution. Around that time the law regarding who appoints the superintendent changed. In 1871 the name was changed to Texas Institution for the Dumb. A State of Printing office was established at the TSD in 1876; the institution's name changed again to Texas Deaf and Dumb Asylum around 1877. TSD only served white students and had white teachers. Black students attended the Texas Blind and Orphan School, established in 1887; as a result, the two schools developed divergent sign-language dialects. The school's deaf-blind department opened in 1900; the school received its current name during the fiscal year of 1911. The Texas Board of Control received power over TSD in 1919, the year. By 1923 it had grown into the second-largest school for the deaf in the United States. In 1939 the deaf-blind department was transferred to the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; the school had 450 students in the mid-1940s. TSD was placed under the authority of the Board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools, under its current name, in 1949.
In 1951 the Texas Education Agency received jurisdiction over the TSD. In 1965 the black and white deaf schools merged, the student bodies were integrated the following year; the school retained comparatively fewer black teachers than white teachers, of the black teachers who were retained, the majority left within two years. The multi-handicapped deaf students department and the early childhood and elementary programs of the combined TSD moved to the former black school, which became the TSD's east campus; the sign language used by the white students became dominant over the sign language used by black students. In 1979 the Texas Legislature transferred responsibility of the TSD to an independent board. 51% of the members of the board are required to be deaf people. TSD became a state agency in 1981, it received the designation of being an independent school district; the school's 67.5-acre site, located along South Congress, houses a 458,000-square-foot, $65 million campus designed by Barnes Architects, a company headquartered in Austin.
The funds to build the campus were spent in 1989, Barnes won an award for the campus design in 1999. A previous physical plant was built in 1955, some older buildings were razed that year; the former black deaf school, located along Airport Boulevard, became the TSD East Campus in 1965. The State of Texas had built 11 buildings at the site occupied by the Montopolis Drive-in Theater, for $1.5 million in 1961. These buildings had a capacity of 1,208 students. After the 2000-2001 school year TSD sold this property to the City of Austin, the two campuses were consolidated. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired "Texas School for the Deaf: 185-1956, One Hundred Years of Progress: Origin and Future". Texas School for the Deaf Texas School for the Deaf from the Handbook of Texas Online History of Texas School for the Deaf Texas School for the Deaf Foundation TSD Rangers
Susan Combs is a Republican politician from the U. S. state of Texas, who served from 2007 to 2015 as the state's Comptroller of Public Accounts. Prior to her tenure as Comptroller, Combs had served two terms as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture from 1999–2007, taking the reins as the first woman elected to that office in 1998. Combs served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives. On July 10, 2017, Combs was nominated by U. S. President Donald Trump to be the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy and Budget; as a former Texas state comptroller, Combs wrested control of the state's endangered species program from the Department of Parks and Wildlife to her office, which managed state fiscal and tax matters, not biology. She used her authority to oppose any Endangered Species Act protections teaming with the oil and gas industry. Combs was nominated in 2017 to be the U. S. Department of the Interior’s assistant secretary for policy and budget, where she would have controlled the purse strings over the entire department, including the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Her nomination was approved on a party line vote in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. However, the full Senate did not take up her nomination and sent it back to the White House at the end of 2017. In 2018, the Trump administration re-nominated Combs to the same position. More than 70 conservation organizations sent a letter to the Senate opposing her nomination. Combs is the third political appointee named as “acting” assistant secretary for fish and parks since Trump took office. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke appointed Aurelia Skipwith, a former Monsanto employee, to the role in April 2017. “Putting Combs in charge of the Fish and Wildlife Service is like appointing an arsonist as the town fire marshal,” said Stephanie Kurose, endangered species specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Combs will only work to strip away critical protections for our most vulnerable animals, not protect them. As long as her industry pals make a profit, she won’t think twice about letting a species go extinct.”
Combs was born in San Antonio. She grew up in a ranching family in West Texas, she runs a cow-calf operation on her family's ranch in Brewster County. She lives in Austin with Joe W. Duran, a computer scientist, she is the mother of three sons. Combs graduated from Vassar College in New York, majoring in French and religion, she worked in international advertising in New York City, in the financial markets on Wall Street, for the U. S. government before returning to Texas to obtain credentials from the University of Texas Law School at Austin. After graduation from law school, she served as an assistant district attorney in Texas. Combs' first electoral outing was in Travis County, she won the Republican runoff election by seven votes over intraparty challenger Bill Welch. Combs polled 2,279 votes to Welch's 2,272; the two had led a five-candidate field in the primary. In the general election, Combs handily defeated the Democrat Jimmy Day, 45,355 to 23,987. Combs served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives from 1993–1996, resigning midway in her second term to join the staff of U.
S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison as the lawmaker's state director, she was succeeded by fellow Republican Patty Keel of Austin. She served as the Texas Agriculture Commissioner from 1999 to 2007, being the first woman to serve in the position, she succeeded Rick Perry as commissioner, instead elected as lieutenant governor. Combs was elected as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to succeed Carole Strayhorn, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor as an Independent in the same election. Combs served as comptroller from 2007 to 2015. In 2010, Combs was unopposed for a second term as comptroller in the Republican primary, she faced no Democratic opponent in the November 2 general election. Unsuccessful nominees of the Green and Libertarian parties did seek the position. Combs did not seek reelection to a third term as Comptroller or any other statewide office in the 2014 elections. In 2015, Combs endorsed Fiorina for president. After leaving state politics in 2015, Combs launched the Texas Smart Schools Initiative, intended for parents and officials as a data-driven approach to show which public schools and districts are achieving the highest student performance for the lowest cost.
The material, arranged on a five-star scale, was made available without charge. It is funded from her leftover campaign contributions. "Public education is one of the largest items in the state budget. With leftover campaign cash, Combs formed a 501 nonprofit called the Anywhere Woman Project, an online platform aiming to help women ask questions and exchange ideas. On July 10, 2017, U. S. President Donald Trump nominated Combs to be the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Budget at the United States Department of the Interior. Earlier in the year, Trump had considered naming Combs to be the secretary of agriculture, a position which went instead to Sonny Perdue, a former governor of Georgia; the administration cited Combs' career in public office and in the private sector as a small business owner with a ranch in the Big Bend section of West Texas as factors in her selection. U. S. Senator John Cornyn said that he will work for Combs' confirmation and called her "always a fierce advocate for rural Texans."As of July 5, 2018, Combs has yet to receive Senate confirmation to the