Ryan Poppe

News Reporter - Capitol

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.

Eventually converting into an on-air reporter, Ryan has covered topics ranging from crime to the political process at the state capitol.

Ryan and his wife Mary live in the Northwest Austin suburb of Jollyville. He enjoys spending time at many Austin's parks and outdoor areas with his son Luke and cycling along some of the area's bike trails.  

Ryan is the cook in the family and it is understood that the kitchen is his territory. His favorite menu items range from traditional French to modern Thai-cusine.

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Teacher Evaluations
10:22 am
Wed May 7, 2014

New Evaluation System Gives Tests 20 Percent Weight, Educators Outraged

As per his agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has submitted a new teacher evaluation model this week that uses student test scores as one of the components for measuring a teacher's success.   

The teacher evaluation system is part of the waiver that allowed Texas to opt out of No Child Left Behind.  This week Williams released the final draft of that evaluation, an evaluation that counts 20 percent from students' standardized test scores. 

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State Capitol Police
3:03 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

DPS Launches Mounted State Capitol Patrol Ahead Of 2015 Legislative Session

The DPS Mounted Horse Patrol Unit with the Houston Police Department's mounted patrol.
Credit Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

The Texas Department of Public Safety has officially launched a mounted patrol on the state capitol grounds.

Much like their first use during the 2013 special session abortion rallies, the DPS is hoping the horse patrol will make troopers more visible.

The idea of having a mounted patrol on the state capitol grounds was an idea first put forth by former state Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands. And during 2013 special session, it was also one of first times a mounted patrol was used for crowd control during a number of high-capacity abortion rallies.

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2014 Election
4:35 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Van De Putte’s Lieutenant Governor Campaign Gets National Help From Howard Dean

Walking arm-in-arm with Wendy Davis at the MLK march earlier this year in San Antonio, Leticia Van De Putte (left) is trying to gain momentum as her Republican opponent is still being decided in a primary runoff.
Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

In late April, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean began an effort to encourage Democratic donors to support Leticia Van De Putte’s Texas bid for lieutenant governor.

Using his political action committee Democracy for America, Dean is also raising awareness through online campaigning, something many politicos say Dean gave birth to during his 2004 presidential bid.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Gov. Perry Talks Presidential Bid, Second Chances On 'Meet The Press'

Speaking this weekend on NBC’s "Meet the Press," Gov. Rick Perry was asked about the gaffs in his failed 2012 presidential run and how to recover ahead of the 2016 election.

Perry seems to be showing more signs of a 2016 run and said America is a land of second chances.

"I would tend to agree with them on the botched effort side of it," Perry said.

"So what went wrong?" asked host David Gregory.

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Financial Accountability
12:06 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drastic Pay Difference Per Student Between Charter & Public School Superintendents

SBOE member Thomas Ratliff.
Credit State of Texas

New numbers released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff shows superintendents at Texas charter schools are paid more than their public school counterparts.   

Ratliff has been sifting through the annual financial reports for public schools and charter schools, which are put out by the Texas Education Agency.  

"From what I’ve seen there are a lot superintendents from some very small charter schools making a whole lot of money, especially if you compare them to their public school or their ISD counterparts,” Ratliff said.

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Affordable Care Act
4:40 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

In Last Month Of ACA Signup, Texas Insurance Enrollment Surges

Screenshot from Healthcare.gov earlier in the year.
Credit U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

A majority of states procrastinated when it came to signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act and new numbers show Texas was in the top five in the number of people signing up at the last minute.  

Texas had the third highest number people in the nation that signed up for an insurance plan in the last month of the ACA’s enrollment period. According to federal officials, the total number of Texans signing up for insurance through the federal marketplace was just under 800,000. 

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Texas Energy Capacity
1:18 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

ERCOT Report Shows Rolling Blackouts Not A Threat Anytime Soon

ERCOT region.
Credit Texas Office of Public Utility Counsel

A report released by the Energy Reliability Council of Texas shows the state is not in any danger of rolling blackouts anytime in the near future.  

ERCOT released three assessment reports looking at whether the state has enough energy reserves to meet the peak demand during the summer and fall of 2014 and then a long-term review of peak customer demand.

Warren Lasher, ERCOT’s director of system planning, said a set of new projects will help Texas meet its energy demand.

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2014 Republican Lt. Gov. Runoff
10:29 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Everything On The Line For Tonight's Dewhurst-Patrick Republican Runoff Debate

One political expert says that tonight's debate is a must win for Dewhurst if he is hoping to make it on the November ballot.
Credit David Dewhurst campaign

Following two weeks of negative campaign ads in the Republican lieutenant governor runoff, Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst will face off in a runoff election debate tonight in Houston. One political pundit said Dewhurst will need a blowout win at the debate if he is to gain in traction in the race.

Just when some had believed incumbent Dewhurst’s campaign had gone flat, he emerged with a set of attacks, alleging that Patrick changed his name to avoid the Internal Revenue Service.

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Campaign Finance
3:17 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Texas House And U.S. Senate Take On Nonprofit 'Dark Money' Disclosure

This week both a U.S. Senate committee and Texas House committee took up the issue of whether political nonprofits should be required to disclose their campaign contributions.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are concerned with how these groups are trying to buy elections thanks to laws that don't require such groups to report their campaign contributions.

At the U.S. Senate Campaign Finance Committee hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas argued that campaign contributions are a form of free speech.

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Criminal Justice
4:33 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Pressure Builds For Additional Transparency In Texas After Oklahoma Execution

Following a botched execution in Oklahoma, anti-death penalty groups and attorneys are once again calling on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide full transparency in the state's execution process.

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