Texas Public Schools

Last Thursday, April 10, the Texas State Board of Education approved the creation of a new state elective course, which includes a class in Mexican-American studies. The board is now calling on book publishers to submit new textbooks for these courses.

School districts already had permission to create these special interest courses, but many districts wanted to give these courses some teeth.

Marisa Perez, an SBOE member from San Antonio, said that started with the creation of course standards.

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Texas Matters: In the last legislative session Gov. Perry threatened to and then vetoed the budget of the state's public integrity unit, a state agency that scrutinizes governmental affairs, when the Travis County district attorney, who oversees the unit, did not step down from her post. A special prosecutor is now looking into the case. Also on this show: The governor's race and pre-K, new addition to Texas public school curriculum, cleanup of oil spill on Texas coast, and endangered species vs. oil prospecting.

President George W. Bush closed the Civil Rights Summit in Austin by focusing on how education and access to higher education can be the great equalizer for many people. Bush said he feared the soft bigotry of low expectations is returning

Bush detailed efforts by President Lyndon Baines Johnson that led to the signing of the Elementary and Second Education Act, which focused new funding on the lowest funding school district and creation of Head Start. Bush said despite those efforts, education in America is still not effectively equal.

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Thousands of San Antonio kids are ending up in adult courtrooms over "Failure to Attend School" (FTAS) violations. In 2012, a third of all class C misdemeanors filed against minors were FTAS in Texas. The state saw 76,000 cases in courts that year, according to Texas Appleseed

Joey Palacios / TPR News

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Gregg Abbott appeared in San Antonio this week to tout his education plan just days after it was released to the public.

The first part of Abbott’s plan includes students in pre-K through the third grade (you can view the full plan here.)