Texas

Tomorrow, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets in Vienna to try to figure out a way to cut oil production.  For decades OPEC’s set oil prices by controlling supply. So the meeting will be closely watched because it could lead to higher oil prices.

But, the idea to manipulate oil prices by setting limits on oil, didn’t start with OPEC. It started right here in Texas.

The Texas State Board of Education preliminarily voted 14-0 today to reject a Mexican-American history textbook that scholars have said was riddled with inaccuracies. A final vote on the textbook is due Friday. 

Just about everyone is using technology, and kids are practically experts. The issue for teachers is how to get kids to use these digital tools effectively in the classroom.

KERA visited one elementary school in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch district that’s finding technology can help students learn.

Update (Nov. 16 11:06 a.m.)  ​ The State Board of Education unanimously rejected a controversial Mexican American studies textbook in a preliminary vote Wednesday morning. The vote was 14-0 with Board Member David Bradley absent.

Before the vote, Board Member Thomas Ratliff said he wanted the vote to be clear:

What we are not doing is censoring a textbook. Nothing prohibits either of these publishers to print the books exactly as it is. Nothing prohibits them from resubmitting the book in Proclamation 2018 and nothing we do will prohibit them from selling them to public school districts in Texas. What we are doing is we are following Texas Education Code and our rules. We are not engaging in politics or personalities.

The board is expected to take a final vote on the book Friday. 

Original Post: The Texas State Board of Education is expected to decide whether to approve a controversial Mexican-American Studies textbook this week. On Tuesday, the board took final public testimony on the book.

Texas lawmakers sure are eager -- on the first day they could file bills for the 85th state Legislative session, they filed several hundred of them, as well as dozens of resolutions.

After years of legal battles, the Environmental Protection Agency has started the process of removing Texas from a list of states that need to comply with requirements of one of its air pollution rules.

In 2011, Texas started cutting millions of dollars from the state Early Childhood Intervention program (ECI). At the time, they estimated it would lead to 9 percent reduction in the number of kids that could enter the program. That includes kids with speech delays, Down syndrome, autism and other challenges.

From the Texas Tribune: A since-deleted tweet sent from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's account on Tuesday used an obscene term to describe Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

From the Texas Tribune: Late this summer, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry strongly encouraged U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election bid in 2018, according to GOP sources. 

SHUTTERSTOCK

This year, all 36 of Texas’ congressional representatives are up for re-election, but only one of those races is considered by most observers to actually be competitive. When it comes to state house and senate races, the vast majority of those aren’t terribly competitive either. That’s due, in large part, to a lot of the districts in the state are drawn with an overwhelming majority of one party or another.

Texans are struggling to pay for housing, despite the state’s reputation as an affordable place to live. Almost half of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing.


Doctor Hans Landel blows minds for a living.


He travels the state giving workshops on invasive plants. But he starts each one with a warning. 


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Early voting starts today in Texas. Here's what you need to know.

We all know Texas is a red state. Democrats haven't won a statewide election since 1994, and Republicans have carried the state in every presidential election since 1976.

Texas has the lowest special education enrollment numbers in the nation. Parents of some special needs students say they’ve spent years fighting with Texas schools to get services for their kids — services schools are required to provide under federal law. 

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