Week of Oct. 8-14, 2018

Paxton joins effort against climate change lawsuit
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Oct. 5 announced he had joined an Indiana-led coalition of 11 state attorneys general in a friend-of-the-court brief seeking dismissal of a climate-change lawsuit against the energy industry.

Week of Oct. 1-7, 2018

Abbott, Valdez present views on Texas in one hour forum
AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Lupe Valdez on Sept. 28 appeared together on television for 60 minutes in the only scheduled gubernatorial debate, a forum hosted by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus.

Week of Sept. 24-30, 2018

Future of TRS health care hinges on lawmakers’ support
AUSTIN — Retired teachers facing the unwelcome prospect of paying higher monthly health insurance premiums received better-than-expected news last week.
The Teachers Retirement System board of trustees on Sept. 21 voted not to increase premiums because the TRS staff negotiated a better rate and other cost savings with its health insurance provider, while keeping plan and pharmacy benefits the same.

Week of Sept. 17-23, 2018

Weather system prompts Texas to prepare as hurricane season continues
AUSTIN — Before Hurricane Florence reached the shores of the Carolinas last week, Gov. Greg Abbott focused on the Gulf of Mexico, where an inbound tropical disturbance threatened the southern region of Texas.
Proactively, Abbott on Sept. 14 issued a disaster declaration for 78 counties stretching from the Texas Gulf Coast to deep into the interior of the Lone Star State.

Week of Sept. 10-16, 2018

Governor points out actions taken to make schools safer
AUSTIN — Just before Labor Day weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott released a School Safety Action Plan Summary that lists actions taken by school districts to harden campuses in the wake of the deadly Santa Fe Independent School District shooting in May.

EARLY DELIVERY: State Capital Highlights, week of Sept. 3-9, 2018

Texas leaders call for new trade agreement to include Canada
AUSTIN — The White House last week announced a preliminary new trade agreement had been secured between the United States and Mexico.
While details of the pact are forthcoming, the White House said the agreement would “create more reciprocal trade that grows the economy, supports high-paying jobs for American workers, protects American intellectual property” and “is a mutually beneficial win for North American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses.”

Week of Aug. 27 - Sept. 2, 2018

Officials observe anniversary of Hurricane Harvey at Rockport church
AUSTIN — August 25 marked one year since Hurricane Harvey's battering winds and torrential rains brought death and destruction to coastal and inland counties of Texas.
Repairs and rebuilding in the region continue to this day, and the U.S. Office of Coastal Management has estimated the cost of the storm at $125 billion.

Week of Aug. 20-26, 2018

Texas Education Agency releases two sets of ratings
AUSTIN — The Texas Education Agency on Aug. 15 released 2018 campus accountability ratings and, for the first time ever, A-F district accountability ratings.

Week of Aug. 13-19, 2018

TEA releases preliminary financial accountability ratings
AUSTIN — Some 80 percent of public school districts and charters earned the highest-possible preliminary financial accountability rating, according to figures released by the Texas Education Agency on Aug. 8. 

Week of Aug. 6-12, 2018

Hurricane Harvey-affected campuses receive special evaluations
AUSTIN — Some 109 independent school districts and charters directly affected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system, the Texas Education Agency announced Aug. 1. 
Based on data reported to the agency during the past school year, the affected districts and charters encompass some 1,188 eligible campuses.