State government

Pleading the Tenth

The final amendment in the Bill of Rights provides state leaders their best avenue around federal policies they don't agree with. That is, if the Tenth Amendment actually means something.

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Ante Vekic

Beyond Textbooks and Tests

Hoping to push a wide array of digital content and teaching tools to public schools, the Texas Education Agency has cut a deal with a division of The New York Times for an electronic curriculum portal and searchable access to the newspaper’s content since 1851.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramsey and others on Bill White and the changing state of the race for governor; Thevenot's two-parter on what Dallas churches are doing to combat social ills and racial division; Ramshaw on the use of force by school district police departments (and why parents don't know about it); Grissom's two-parter, abetted by Stiles, on unregulated payday lenders; Aguilar on Mexican immigrants who play against type; and Rapoport on those missing extra checks for retired public employees. The best of the best from November 21 to 25, 2009.

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Jacob Villanueva

The Checks Aren't in the Mail

Sorry, retired teachers and other public employees: You'll have to do without that extra $500 you were expecting. And you shouldn't count on any additional benefits next year — not if the state pension fund continues to be, in the words on one state senator, "actuarially unsound."

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Jacob Villanueva

Hidden Force

School district police departments use tasers, pepper spray, dogs and drawn handguns to control crime on campus. But most don't keep data on the incidents, leaving parents no way to track them. Many even refuse to turn over their “use of force” guidelines, saying parting with their policies could create a security threat.

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Campaign

2010: Chavez Not Running for Senate

State Rep. Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, announced today on a local radio show that she plans to run for reelection to the Texas House instead of making a go at the state Senate seat that Eliot Shapleigh is vacating.

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senate media services

2010: Shapleigh endorses Bill White

Houston Mayor Bill White hasn't even announced yet that he's running for governor. But state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, is endorsing him.

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Jacob Villanueva

Retired, Rehired

No snowbirds here. A growing number of state employees are retiring and coming straight back to work, padding — and in some cases nearly doubling — their state salaries with pension pay-outs.

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Rev. Jim Wallis, a leading progressive preacher and founder of Sojourners, addressed Dallas Christians on Nov. 12, 2009. The social justice movement, he said, "is not about social action. It's not about politics. It's about restoring the integrity of the word of God in our lives, our churches, our neighborhoods, our city and our nation."

Soul Search: Dallas churches unite to right historic wrongs

The Dallas church community has vowed to forge 25 partnerships with high-poverty public schools and push for 700 units of housing for the homeless — a down payment on a larger effort to heal wounds left by racism and injustice.

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2010: The Texas Tribune Index

The number-crunchers among the Republicans and the Democrats in Texas use election results to get a feel for the political environment in each legislative district. They start with statewide races and then bake in some assumptions about what might happen if they put the right candidates in place. We and other political watchers need the same thing, without the partisan ingredients. So we cooked up the Texas Tribune Index.

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