Thanks to a grant from CPS Energy, students at Jefferson High School are using state-of-the-art equipment to study renewable energy before their senior year. The program is part of the school’s architecture & environmental studies magnet.
In Blu Odam’s advanced energy and environmental technology class, his six students have been studying how to generate renewable energy.
“Wind energy, solar energy, biofuels which includes bio-diesel and ethanol, and hydro energy which includes damns and water falls,” Odam explained.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has been attempting to change the Texas school system’s use-of-force policies for on-campus police officers since a November 2013 incident that left a Bastrop student in a coma (see video below).
"We sent a letter originally to the Commission on Law Enforcement and we were unfortunately told by them they didn’t have the authority to institute a ban," said Matt Simpson with the Austin office of the ACLU of Texas.
Six open-enrollment charter schools have been notified by the state that they are about to have their license revoked. A new law passed by the legislature gives the education commissioner greater authority, including revoking a failing charter school’s state license.
This week Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams sent six open-enrollment charter schools notices of mandatory revocation. Under the new law calling for more charter schools, the commissioner was also given additional authority to revoke failing charter schools state license.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, is calling on Attorney General Greg Abbott to come to the table and reach a settlement agreement in legal case challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system.
As Travis County District Judge John Deitz weighs hundreds of pieces of evidence in the lawsuit, Davis called on Abbott, who is representing the state in the case and is Davis' likely Republican opponent in the governor's race, to make sure Texas school districts are adequately funded.
Travis County District Judge John Dietz has finished hearing closing arguments in the Texas school finance lawsuit and now attorneys from both sides await a decision. Dietz is taking his time to formulate an opinion because the case will likely go to the Texas Supreme Court.
"I think the evidence was pretty compelling that restoring some of the money just didn’t fix all the problems," said Houston attorney David Thompson, who represents a large group of schools in the lawsuit.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a new degree program aimed at making college affordable.
The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program has been in the works since it’s conception in 2011 when it was one of the needs Gov. Rick Perry expressed during his State of the State Address. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board announced they had finished designing that program this week.
Last week the Texas State Board of Education discussed the possibility of offering a statewide Mexican-American studies class as part of the statewide curriculum, a decision the board has postponed until this spring.
Of the five million students in Texas schools, 51 percent are Hispanic, leaving some to wonder why efforts of Tejanos that have shaped history, culture and the arts are not a part of curriculum.