Under the Dome: The Primaries

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Voting in the Primaries
What am I voting on? How do runoffs work? Thanks to the Texas Tribune, we’ve got answers to the basic questions about how to cast a ballot in the March 6, 2018 Republican and Democratic Texas primaries: Everything you need to know about casting a ballot in the Texas primary elections.
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.
Texas School Finance Commission Conducts Second Meeting
The Texas School Finance Commission met February 8 in Austin. The Commission heard presentations from several groups on school finance trends, including presentations about school finance in other states.
Texas Education Agency Chief School Finance Officer Leo Lopez provided an overview, School Finance Trends (PDF), of how schools in Texas are funded. Recapture continues to be a subject of much interest. The Commission discussed whether recapture should be included in the calculation of the state’s share of funding public schools or in the local share. If the state counts recapture as part of their contribution to public education, the state’s share rises from 38% to 42% of the cost of public education. Currently, the Legislative Budget Board counts recapture as part of the local share of funding for public schools.
Additional presenters:
Working groups will be established to look at issues such as expenditures for public education and educational outcomes. The next two meetings are set for March 7 and March 19. 
Texas Senate Education Committee to Conduct Interim Hearings March 26 and April 4
The Texas Senate Education Committee will conduct a hearing Monday, March 26, beginning at 10:00 am, to consider teacher pay, student discipline, and school accountability. The Committee will meet on April 4, beginning at 10:00 am, to consider how to expand high quality education opportunities in Texas, including exploring recommendations on incentives to expand high-performing campuses and programs. The Committee will also consider virtual education in the 21st Century, reviewing the Virtual School Network.
State Board of Education Seeks Public Input on New Long-Range Plan for Public Education
The State Board of Education is asking for responses to an online survey that will help determine long-term goals and educational priorities for Texas public schools. The survey is available in English and Spanish. It will remain open until March 2, 5:00 pm.
Along with gathering input from Texans through the survey, the Board and Long-Range Plan Steering Committee have been hosting community meetings across the state. The final meeting is scheduled for Amarillo:
  • February 28, Region 16 Education Service Center, 5800 Bell St., Amarillo. Register
REMINDERS
Friday, March 2
Texas Independence Day

Last day to early vote