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Texas foster youth struggle to get college degrees

Briana Dovi, who graduated from University of Texas at Arlington, is one of the few foster youths in Texas that has taken advantage of the free tuition waiver provided by the state.
Briana Dovi, who graduated from University of Texas at Arlington, is one of the few foster youths in Texas that has taken advantage of the free tuition waiver provided by the state.

Although Texas offers free tuition waivers and other benefits to ease foster youths' transition to higher education, the number of students using the resources has declined.

Report: Texas has closed most polling places since court ruling

During the first week of early voting for the 2016 presidential elections, civil rights lawyers took issue with this sign outside of a polling place in Cuero. It did not mention options for casting a ballot without photo ID.
During the first week of early voting for the 2016 presidential elections, civil rights lawyers took issue with this sign outside of a polling place in Cuero. It did not mention options for casting a ballot without photo ID.

A report shows Texas leads the nation in the number of polling places that have been closed since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. 

Help Wanted to Investigate Student-Teacher Relationships

Texas Education Agency investigator Doug Phillips testifies on punishing educators for inappropriate student-teacher relationships during a public hearing Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee.
Texas Education Agency investigator Doug Phillips testifies on punishing educators for inappropriate student-teacher relationships during a public hearing Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee.

Faced with growing state attention on improper student-teacher relationships, the Texas Education Agency is asking lawmakers for hundreds of thousands of additional dollars to help investigate them — plus new legislation. 

Texas Not Budging on Rule Requiring Burial or Cremation of Fetal Remains

An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.
An exam room at ChoiceWorks, formerly Whole Woman's Health Clinic, on June 27, 2016, the day the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of HB 2 restricting women's access to abortions in Texas.

Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, Texas isn't budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains.

Hearings Will Address Criminal Justice Reforms in Sandra Bland's Name

Ayana Flewellen speaks to a large crowd assembled at The Texas Capitol for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sandra Bland on Thursday July 23, 2015.
Ayana Flewellen speaks to a large crowd assembled at The Texas Capitol for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sandra Bland on Thursday July 23, 2015.

Texas lawmakers will meet Tuesday to discuss the push for reforms in Texas jail standards, police training and care for mentally ill inmates in the wake of Sandra Bland's death in the Waller County Jail.

 

Analysis: In Texas, Lawmakers Regulate Their Own Regulators

State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.
State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.

The Texas Ethics Commission regulates legislators. Legislators control the commission's laws and budget. It's a complicated relationship.

East Texas Children Lose Therapy Services in Budget Cut Fallout

Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.
Lauretta Jackson, a physical therapist from Any Baby Can, works with Sara weekly to improve her body strength. Nonprofit therapy providers are worried budget cuts made by lawmakers will put them out of business.

Lawmakers wanted the state to pay less for children's therapy services without cutting off access to care, but that balance is proving impossible in some cases.