TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 3/21/11

M. Smith on the continuing controversy over Beaumont's school administrators, Tan on the deepening divide over the consequences of the House budget, Hamilton on the latest in the fight over higher ed accountability, Grissom on young inmates in adult prisons, Aguilar on the voter ID end game, Tan and Hasson's Rainy Day Fund infographic, Ramsey on the coming conflict over school district reserves, M. Smith and Aguilar on Laredo ISD's missing Social Security numbers, Galbraith on environmental regulators bracing for budget cuts and Ramshaw on greater scrutiny of neonatal intensive care units: The best of our best content from March 21 to 25, 2011.

Beaumont's Carrol A. Thomas, who makes $347,834 annually, is the highest-paid superintendent in Texas, even though his district of about 20,000 students is considerably smaller than those in other Texas cities.

Lawmakers offered dueling interpretations Thursday of a Legislative Budget Board analysis predicting that the state could lose hundreds of thousands of jobs if the House's budget bill is passed.

The University of Texas System leadership has officially reassigned controversial new hire, Rick O'Donnell, to a new position — one that will only exist for a matter of months.

Judges across the state, and particularly in Harris County, are sending youth offenders to adult prisons even when they have few prior offenses, according to a study by a University of Texas criminal justice expert.

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After more than 11 hours of debate, seven points of order, more than 60 amendments and nearly as many heated exchanges, a mentally vanquished and emotionally exhausted Texas House preliminarily approved the controversial voter ID bill.

Use our infographic to understand the intent of the Rainy Day Fund, what it takes to draw from that savings account, and the political arguments for and against using it. 

A disk holding the Social Security numbers of thousands of current and former students in the Laredo Independent School District — a total of 24,903 — has gone missing, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Texas' environmental regulators, already under fire from green groups for not doing enough to keep air and water pollution in check, are bracing for deep cuts as lawmakers hash out the budget.

State health officials, searching for solutions to Texas’ budget shortfall, are eying neonatal intensive care units, which they fear are being overbuilt and overused by hospitals eager to profit from the high-cost care.

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