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The Evening Brief: Dec. 6, 2012

Your evening reading: UT System announces plans for new South Texas university; education commissioner strips El Paso ISD board of authority; Hutchison to release new book in April

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa during a Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency hearing on Sept. 21, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   UT System Planning New Rio Grande Valley University: "At Thursday's meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announced a major plan to consolidate its existing institutions in the Rio Grande Valley to create a new university."

•   TEA Commissioner Strips El Paso ISD Board of Authority: "In the wake of a cheating scandal in the El Paso school district, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that he's stripping authority from the district's board and installing a new Board of Managers."

•   Coalition Publishes Study Touting Texas Flagship Universities: "The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education released a report on Thursday arguing that the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University provide quality education for a bargain, compared with peer institutions."

•   Tarrant County May Point to Texas' Political Future: "Just like in 2008, Tarrant County voters favored Mitt Romney and President Obama in the same proportion as Texas voters did overall."

•   Interactive: Billions of Dedicated Funds Unspent: "Lawmakers have stockpiled nearly $5 billion in more than 200 dedicated revenue funds, using the money to help balance the budget rather than for its intended purposes, according to estimates from the Texas comptroller's office. Our interactive shows you which accounts hold all the money."


•   Hutchison’s plan after Senate retirement: new book, keep fighting for Texas (The Dallas Morning News): "Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced today that she has a third book in the works, and vowed to keep working on behalf of Texas even after she retires from Congress next month.

•   Texas conservatives exult at news of Jim DeMint’s move to Heritage Foundation (Houston Chronicle): "Even Gov. Rick Perry, who was not happy with Jim DeMint’s endorsement of Ted Cruz over the governor’s choice, David Dewhurst, in the 2012 GOP Senate primary, congratulated the South Carolina senator: 'Although the Senate will be losing a principled, effective advocate for freedom, his forthcoming role at Heritage will strengthen conservative influence across our country.'"

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