State government

Jacob Villanueva

Dropping In

After much hand-wringing by public officials and business leaders over the dropout crisis, a patchwork of last-resort schools and programs has emerged statewide. Gauging their performance is tricky, but there's no question that the students they serve might otherwise be on the street or in jail.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Stiles and Thevenot collaborate on the salaries paid to superintendents, and even compare them on price per student… Ramsey’s look at redistricting and next year’s elections… Aguilar’s report on jails, brought to you by the federal agency that’s in the ag business… Rapoport’s peek at the power behind Texas pre-kindergarten programs… Smith’s conversation with Dan Patrick, in three parts… Grissom’s narrative on a circular immigration and deportation route financed by two governments… Ramshaw finds doctors agreeing on public policy and split on strategy and tactics… Hu’s latest Stump Interrupted puts the camera on Farouk Shami… Hamilton’s story on two retired cops who are taking on cargo theft in Texas… And Kreighbaum and Stiles pop open the itineraries of your folks in Congress. The best of our best from December 12 to 18, 2009.

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Lindsay Beyerstein

2010: Ronnie Earle Files for Lite Guv

The former Travis County District Attorney was expected to file for some statewide race, though precisely which one has been something of a mystery. Mystery solved.

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Keep On Trucking

Texas has the worst rates of cargo and heavy equipment theft in the country. Yet while criminals are raking in billions of dollars each year, the state has never had an organized system to address the problem.

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Jacob Villanueva

An Escape with Few Takers

When public schools fail, students are allowed to transfer to better campuses. But only a tiny fraction ever do.

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2010: Is Seven Enough for Isett?

Rep. Carl Isett, R-Lubbock, has his hometown buzzing with rumors that he won't seek an eighth term in the Texas House. Isett didn't return calls and texts to confirm, and his office said simply that he'll have an announcement on Friday.

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Jacob Villanueva

Super Salaries

School superintendent salary data offers a unique window into the vast diversity of Texas districts, from massive to miniscule, and the way they pay their chief executives. One new trend: Performance pay. 

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Jacob Villanueva

Home Alone

The home health care cuts that Congress will likely make to fund federal health care reform will take an extra large swipe at Texas.

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Bob Daemmrich, Todd Wiseman

The Rich are Different

When political consultants take on wealthy candidates, does that mean they can milk them and their campaigns for all they’re worth? Are they simply trying to help good people get elected? Or both?

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Legal Lottery

Can Texas lottery winners sell all of their payments to private finance companies? State attorneys say no. A state appeals court says yes. The Texas Supreme Court will decide.

 

 

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Jacob Villanueva

Never Can Say Goodbye

Texas voters won't be offered a real chance at change in the Legislature and Congress next year. Four out of five state and federal lawmakers face no real competition in their primary or general elections.

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