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The Midday Brief: April 5, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

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Your afternoon reading:

“By February 2008, Gunn was missing whole days of school. The school referred him to a justice of the peace for truancy. Gunn was surprised to learn that he could be prosecuted for dropping out. After all, he was 18 years old. But Justice of the Peace Cindy Ruthart ordered him to pay a $250 fine and attend Saturday school for eight weeks.” — School House CrockThe Texas Observer

“Folks in other states are worried that the changes will wind up appearing in schools outside Texas. The state, with almost 5 million students in kindergarten through high school, dictates what is in the textbooks it purchases from publishers, and other states often buy the same materials.” — As Texas messes with history, worry that it'll multiplyWashington Post

“Thirteen inmates escaped when armed men arrived in 10 vehicles and stormed a prison in the border city of Reynosa, Mexican officials have said.” — Armed men storm Mexico prison to free 13 inmates — BBC News

“It is too soon to say how much extra will be needed to help close the projected shortfall in the state's 2012-13 budget. Estimates of the budget hole range from a very conservative figure of $11 billion to more than $15 billion.” — Where will Texas find money to fill budget gap?Austin American-Statesman

New in the Texas Tribune:

Chavez has been calling Gonzalez gay and demanding that she come out. Gonzalez hasn't responded and says the race is about Chavez and her record. — 2010: Chavez: No to Gay Marriage. Yes to Civil Unions?

State Rep. Fred Brown, R-College Station, and his GOP run-off challenger, former Brazos County Tax Assessor-Collector Gerald “Buddy” Winn, have at least three things in common: a long history in public service, far-right values and high name ID. — The Runoffs: HD-14

Not much fazes Naomi Gonzalez — she always expected a rough race against longtime incumbent state Rep. Norma Chavez, D-El Paso. So she didn't react when Chavez called her a lesbian during a recent public forum. And she shrugs off some of the more “colorful” comments she hears campaigning at voters’ homes. — The Runoffs: HD-76

John Frullo can be hard to find. He's a reluctant candidate who avoids interviews, reads from index cards during debates and doesn't seem to have his heart completely in politics. And yet here he is, in a runoff with former school board president and Texas Tech regent Mark Griffin, hoping to win the right to represent District 84 in the Texas House. — The Runoffs: HD-84

Delwin Jones, who was first elected to the Texas House in 1964 after two unsuccessful attempts, says he has handed out 765,000 promotional emery boards since his start in politics. His tenure and those files weren't enough to win a bruising primary outright last month, though, and the veteran legislator now finds himself in a runoff against Tea Party organizer Charles Perry, who's capitalizing on voter anger at incumbents. — The Runoffs: HD-83

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