This year, new standardized tests are designed to be more rigorous and cover more subjects. Some parents are choosing to "opt out" and keep their children home on testing day. But there are questions of legality, and failing to show up for the test could mean a failure to graduate. Morgan Smith explains. Texas is poised to receive millions of dollars for coastal restoration from BP to help clean up after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Kate Galbraith tells us how state officials are sorting through more than 150 proposals for spending the money.

Read more on these stories in this weekend's editions of The New York Times and at The Texas Tribune.


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