State government

TribBlog: Fort Hood Shootings

As news of the Fort Hood shootings unfolds, we'll be adding links, maps, audio, photographs, and other information from around the web to this post.

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The World According To Don

So what if he's no longer the chair of the State Board of Education? Self-described "religious fanatic" Don McLeroy has big plans for Texas education — and science is just the beginning.

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The Brief: November 5, 2009

Recommendation: Do not get swine flu. Tracking the vaccine is getting to be like figuring out what happened to all the TARP money.

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2010: Former Tigua leader mulling Senate run

Albert Alvidrez, a former governor of the Tigua tribe in El Paso, is mulling a run for the Texas Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Sen. Eliot Shapleigh. But having Alvidrez in the Senate might not earn the tribe another vote for gambling rights.

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Faulty figures: The great dropout debate

Despite years of research, the true picture of dropout and graduation rates remains elusive, even the subject of cross words between researchers. The consensus: Far too many Texas public school students, particularly those from poor and minority families, don’t cross the high-school finish line.

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Jacob Villanueva

Dropout problem drags Texas down

“I represent a district that has 80 percent renters, 70 percent of people speaking a first language other than English, where there’s a high school with 42 languages and 40 percent turnover of the student body every year — now tell me how you plan to calculate the dropout rate,” Rep. Scott Hochberg said. “I will stipulate that it’s too big — let’s just start there. I wish we fought over solutions as much as we fight over the number.”

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Bob Daemmrich and Elise Hu

Trouble in the big tent

Those watching the Perry-Hutchison brawl for hints of the GOP's future may be looking in the wrong place. A small race for the State Board of Education gives a glimpse into the party's inner-turmoil.

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The Polling Center: Our Inaugural Election Survey

The results of the first UT/Texas Tribune poll, which was in the field from October 20-27 and sampled 800 Texans who identified themselves as registered voters, shows Texas slowly turning their attention to the 2010 elections. Perhaps more to the point, they have become extremely skeptical about the direction of the federal government. Today we’ll focus on the election match ups and what they tell us about the state of play a little less than six months out from the March primaries.

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Photo courtesy of the Howson family

Disabled students restrained, injured in public schools

Texas educators routinely pin down students with disabilities to control them, according to state data. Disability rights advocates say the restraints point to a crisis in special education, and that teachers are resorting to physical violence because they aren't properly trained.

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TribBlog: Permanent School Fund Rebounds. But Will Schools Benefit?

The state’s permanent school fund, which spins off money for textbooks and the like each year, has recaptured billions of dollars after a frightening downward spiral this spring. Trouble is, the increase in the fund may produce no increase at all in education spending. The real beneficiaries of the fund often are the state legislature and its priorities outside education.

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Rick vs. Kay: Battle of the Titans

Today is Election Day for 11 propositions on the constitutional ballot in Texas, but most of the state’s political attention is focused on next November’s gubernatorial election—and the brightest light is squarely on the Republican primary battle between incumbent Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Ben Philpott, who's covering the governor’s race for Austin public radio station KUT-FM and the Tribune, reports on the battle of the titans taking place in the GOP and what its aftermath could mean for the party in power ... and the Democrats' chances next fall.

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Exit notices for some, but not all

On the day Gov. Rick Perry removed three forensic science commissioners, citing their expired terms, at least 100 appointees whose time was also up remained in their jobs.

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Texas educators vent at feds over teacher test mess

Annoyed at a recent federal ruling that could nullify the credentials of thousands of public school teachers, Texas education advocates want Washington to waive a technicality they say would cause teachers and districts needless headaches.

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