The Texas Legislature convenes in the state Capitol in Austin every two years, so each LBJ School of Public Affairs student has the opportunity to be involved in a session during their two-year program.
During the 85th Legislative Session (2017), education policy scholar and CHASP faculty fellow Dr. Paul von Hippel led a policy research project (PRP), a cornerstone class at the LBJ School, that analyzed the role of evidence in key K-12 education policy issues that were up for debate during the session.
Von Hippel’s students focused on two main issues – private school choice and campus sexual assault. After reviewing and analyzing relevant data, the findings were summarized and posted online to inform legislators and policymakers.
Private School Choice:
Over the past 13 legislative sessions, members of the Texas legislature have introduced 54 bills to subsidize moving children from public to private schools, yet every one of these bills has foundered in the legislature:
- Can private school choice get traction in the House?
- Why is private school choice stuck in Texas?
- How consistent is the evidence for private school choice?
- Texas private schools look nothing like you imagine
Campus Sexual Assault:
A recent report showed that 15% of female undergraduates at The University of Texas at Austin have experienced sexual assault. Legislators are seeking tougher measures to combat sexual assault on Texas college campuses, but there is a lack of consensus about how to proceed:
- SB 576: The quick fix that will silence survivors of sexual assault
- In Texas, 90 percent of sexual assault kits take over 90 days to process