Government

Texas Education
3:34 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Texas Education Commissioner Campaigns For Reducing High-Stakes Exams

Michael Williams photo from 2009 when he was the Texas Railroad Commissioner
Christopher C. Leonard cc

State Education Commissioner Michael Williams has been campaigning over the weekend to reducing the number of high-stakes exams required for graduation. 

At a business luncheon put on by the Texas Association of Businesses, Williams spoke about reducing the number of end-of-course exams from the current number of 15 tests.

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Texas Legislature - Education
2:31 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Van De Putte Helping Streamline G.I. Bill Assistance For Veterans

Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

The Texas Senate has passed a bill that will help veterans more easily access their education funds under the G.I. Bill.

SB 1158, The Hazelwood Act, was designed to ensure veterans and their children that they would be exempt from specific tuition and fees at public institutions of higher learning in the State of Texas.

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Texas Legislature
11:07 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Lawmakers Vote To Place Oversight On Comptroller & Major Event Fund

Aerial photo of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Circuit of the Americas Facebook photo

The Texas Senate approved SB 1678, which was authored by Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, in response to misspending related to the addition of a Jumbotron at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and another at the Circuit of Americas facility in Austin. 

Deuell said the fund, which is controlled by the Texas comptroller, needed a major overhaul.

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Texas Legislature - Education
9:16 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Passage Of Senate Bill Could Change How State Evaluates Teachers

The Save Texas Schools rally on March 12, 2011.
Flickr user Phil Ostroff cc

Unlike its House companion, Senate Bill 1403 does not rely heavily on test scores taken from high-stakes exams to evaluate teachers.

Originally the bill included a provision that mandated 25 percent of a teacher's evaluation was directly related to students' grades on the state’s end-of-course exams.

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City Council Elections
4:04 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Swayed By Nirenberg Campaign Ad, Williams Endorses Briones

Dist. 8 Councilman Reed Williams endorsed Rolando Briones for his seat.
Ryan Loyd TPR

After more than a year watching the race from the sidelines, outgoing District 8 Councilman Reed Williams has finally announced who he is backing to fill his seat.

Williams, who said last year he wouldn’t be seeking his third term in order to spend more time with family, initially wanted to keep his opinions about the candidates to himself to allow each of the challengers a fair shot at the job.

But a mailer to constituents by candidate Ron Nirenberg put the councilman over the edge.

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Texas Legislature
4:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

At State Capitol, Lawmakers Memorialize Those Who Died In West Fertilizer Explosion

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The senator representing the town of West shared his first-hand account of the damages related to the fertilizer plant explosion and memorializes those who died during the fire.

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Texas Legislature
10:33 am
Thu April 25, 2013

$17.5 Million Grant On The Line If Texas Passes Texting Ban

Senate Committee on Transportation hearing for the texting bill.
Ryan Poppe TPR

 The Senate Committee on Transportation heard emotional testimony Wednesday about the horrors of texting while driving as the state legislature is thinking about federal grant possibilities. 

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Texas Legislature
4:53 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Senate Dials Down Concealed Carry On Campus: Maybe Just In A Student's Car?

Oleg Volt Wikipedia Commons

The chairman for the Senate’s Criminal Jurisprudence Committee said lawmakers need a cooling off period when it comes to the debate over a full campus-carry gun bill.

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Texas Legislature
3:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Senate Passes Joint Resolution To Use Rainy Day Fund For Water, Roads & Education

Though the joint resolution passed, there is some concern about using the money for roads.
Eileen Pace TPR

A Texas comptroller report has spurned lawmakers to approve a measure that will provide about $6 billion for roads, water and education.  

In the report, Comptroller Susan Combs said the last bienum revealed a higher than expected rise in property tax revenues, which the state could use to help fund school districts.

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Texas Legislature
12:41 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Bill To Establish Exoneration Commission Expected To Pass Senate

Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Texas House overwhelming approved House Bill 166, a bill that would set up a governor-appointed exoneration commission.

Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, authored the bill that sets up the Timothy Cole Exoneration Commission, named after the late Tim Cole who died in prison before his name could be cleared.

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