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Texas Education Chief Morath Mum on Transgender Bathroom Issue

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, right, discusses public education with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the Austin Club in Austin on May 17, 2016.
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, right, discusses public education with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the Austin Club in Austin on May 17, 2016.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday praised the state Supreme Court's recent opinion upholding the state’s public school funding system and demurred on questions about bathroom use by transgender students.

Allegations of Fearmongering in Education Board Runoff

Mary Lou Bruner and Keven Ellis are hoping to represent District 9 on the State Board of Education. Northeast Texas voters will pick between the two Republicans in a May 24 runoff election. Whoever wins the nomination will face Democrat Amanda Rudolph in November.
Mary Lou Bruner and Keven Ellis are hoping to represent District 9 on the State Board of Education. Northeast Texas voters will pick between the two Republicans in a May 24 runoff election. Whoever wins the nomination will face Democrat Amanda Rudolph in November.

An underdog GOP primary candidate is headed for a runoff against SBOE hopeful Mary Lou Bruner, a former teacher whose conspiracy theory-laden Facebook posts suggested President Obama worked as a gay prostitute in his youth to pay for a drug habit.

Patrick Draws Fire for "Fake Outrage" Over FW Bathroom Policy

Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who again called on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.
Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who again called on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.

Transgender advocates derided Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday for what they described as his “fake outrage” over the Fort Worth school district’s new transgender bathroom guidelines, calling the Republican a shameless bully.

In the Texas House, Concern But Less Fervor Over College Tuition

Texas House Higher Education Committee Chairman John Zerwas (right), R-Richmond, and Vice Chairwoman Donna Howard, D-Austin, take part in a May 10, 2016, committee hearing.
Texas House Higher Education Committee Chairman John Zerwas (right), R-Richmond, and Vice Chairwoman Donna Howard, D-Austin, take part in a May 10, 2016, committee hearing.

Members of the Texas House Higher Education Committee said they were worried about the rising cost of college in Texas, but stayed away from the criticism and dramatic calls for action heard from the Senate in recent weeks. 

The Houston Endowment Inc., the Lumina Foundation, and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported higher education coverage at The Texas Tribune. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, RGK Foundation, Burdine Johnson Foundation, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported public education coverage at The Texas Tribune.

U.S. Will Order Schools to Accommodate Transgender Students

Opponents and supporters of the Fort Worth Independent School District's guidelines for transgender children pack a school board meeting on May 10, 2016.
Opponents and supporters of the Fort Worth Independent School District's guidelines for transgender children pack a school board meeting on May 10, 2016.

The Obama administration plans to issue a type of executive order on Friday directing every public school in the nation to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that align with their gender identity, according to a report in the New York Times.

UT System Regents Considering Changes to Campus Carry Rules

On Nov. 10, 2015, University of Texas at Austin faculty and students protested the new campus carry law that will allow concealed handgun license holders to carry handguns into campus buildings.
On Nov. 10, 2015, University of Texas at Austin faculty and students protested the new campus carry law that will allow concealed handgun license holders to carry handguns into campus buildings.

Members of the University of Texas System Board of Regents expressed concern about their schools’ proposed rules for handguns on campus and signaled plans to attempt to change some of those policies before they go into effect on Aug 1.