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Keeping Up with the Legislature

SMU professors can provide expert commentary on the work of the 79th Texas Legislature. All are aware of pending legislation and will be following the progress of school finance, tax reform, and other important matters.

Say What ? 

Local Enrichment Tax Not Sufficient

"What is abundantly clear is that the local enrichment tax proposed by the Texas legislature now appears not to be sufficient by itself to raise desperately needed funds. The state will need to move to adopting a delicate combination of efficient, bold and incremental measures," says Maurice Dyson, professor of law, SMU's Dedman School of Law. Read more of his comments on this issue, including his 10-step plan.

Teacher Merit Pay Program

“Using money to motivate higher performance is effective only for some people, despite popular beliefs. Moreover, the amount of bonus money must be substantial enough; some say at least a 10 percent premium to salary, to be motivational," says Mel Fugate, professor of management and organizational behavior at SMU’s Cox School of Business. Read the full Q & A with Professor Fugate.

Child Protective Services

“The state’s child protective services is a triage system only. It is not capable of providing more for children beyond responding to emergency cases,” says Jessica Dixon, director of the W.W. Caruth Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic at SMU’s Dedman School of Law. Dixon leads the Texas Chapter of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and helps direct policy for Prevent Child Abuse Texas, an organization lobbying the legislature for reforms that will result in better protection, prevention and treatment services for children and families.