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The Evening Brief: Oct. 5, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas Republicans cast doubt on new unemployment numbers; university presidents call for more research money; new Lampson ad focuses on job creation

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•   Lone star statesmen celebrate, criticize jobs report (Houston Chronicle): "This morning the Department of Labor released its monthly job report highlighting a surprising turn of events: the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent in the month of September. … For many Republicans, unemployment and slow economic growth are popular talking points in their efforts to fire the boss. Although the newest numbers show signs that 'hope' and 'change' may finally be coming to America, many of Texas’s elected officials remain skeptical of the statistics. … 'While it is encouraging to see job growth, many Americans are skeptical of the rate reported this morning, because job growth did not exceed what our nation needs to keep up with population growth,'" U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, said in a statement.

•   University presidents ask for more research funding (The Dallas Morning News): "This session, legislators will look at how to enlarge the research funding coffers and raise more state universities to Tier One status. The House Higher Education Committee on Friday asked state university president’s what they want out of the upcoming session. The answer was unanimous and predictable: more funding."

•   Texas test scandal ex-school chief gets 3.5 years (The Associated Press): "A federal judge sentenced the former superintendent of El Paso Independent School District to more than three years in prison Friday for his participation in a conspiracy to improve the district’s high-stakes tests scores by removing low-performing students from classrooms."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   New Lampson Ad Focuses on Jobs: "In the latest TV ad promoting Democrat Nick Lampson in his Congressional District 14 race against Republican state Rep. Randy Weber, a port worker disses Washington and praises Lampson for creating jobs."

•   For Some Teachers, Classroom Strain Runs Deeper Than Budget Cuts: "Some consequences of the Legislature's more than $5 billion budget cut to public schools — like a loss of morale and stress levels in the classroom — aren't easily measured. But the pressure on teachers may have more complex origins."

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