AM Update: 9/13/12
8:58 am
Thu September 13, 2012

AM Update: Longer School Days?, Doctors Support Medical School, One Word About Your Favorite Teacher

Should Texas Kids Spend More Time in School?

State lawmakers want to know if having kids spend more time in school will increase performance.

The Texas Senate Committee on Education is meeting this morning to talk about the impact of extended learning time on school success. That could mean longer school days or adding more days to the school year.

Lawmakers will also look at after-school programs and their effect on school performance, attendance and behavior.

The public is invited to comment at the hearing. It starts at 9 a.m. at the capitol.

Hundreds of Austin-Area Doctors Support Medical School

Proposition 1, the proposal for a new medical school and teaching hospital in Austin, now has the support of over 400 Austin-area doctors. The doctors' support means they are behind the five cent increase in property taxes per $100 of taxable value if Prop. 1 is successful in November.

The Central Health Board of Managers voted on the proposed property tax increase last month.

But not everyone is happy with the potential tax increase. A statement on the Texas County Taxpayers Union says, “WE NEED PROPERTY TAX RELIEF, NOT even higher unsustainable taxes.”

The group claims that voting for Prop. 1 means property owners will be voting to raise property taxes by 63 percent.

The Keep Austin Healthy PAC says the new medical center could bring as many as 15,000 jobs to the Austin area and would assist the more than 200,000 people in Travis County living without health insurance.

Recognize a Texas Educator With Just One Word

New Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams seems to be reaching out to educators. In his first major event as commissioner, Williams announced a program by the Texas Parent Teacher Association that aims to recognize 100,000 educators in 180 days.

The association is asking students and parents to nominate current teachers, librarians, principals and superintendents through the 2012-2013 school year.

Williams most recently served as the head of the Railroad Commission of Texas but emphasizes that both of his parents were educators.

The form to nominate an educator asks for just one word to describe the person and why he or she should be nominated. If you would like to show support for an educator in your community, you can nominate them online at texasbesteducator.org.