AM Update
8:50 am
Tue April 17, 2012

AM Update: School Finance Heads to Court, Surge of Undocumented Children, LBJ's Battleship

Schools Finance Lawsuits Get Court Date

A tentative trial date is set for four Texas school finance lawsuits.  State District Judge John Dietz has set the trial for October 22.

Hundreds of school districts from across the state are unhappy with the way Texas distributes money. Attorney Mark Trachtenberg, who represents 86 of those districts, says state funding cuts have contributed to depriving districts of the resources they need to meet standards set by the state itself.

The districts hope that the October trial date will allow time for the court to provide guidance to lawmakers about school funding during the 2013 legislative session.

U.S. Sees Surge of Undocumented Children

From the San Antonio Express News, 100 undocumented children will be placed at Lackland Air-Force Base in San Antonio.

The Health and Human Services’ division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services has been given the responsibility of caring for children caught crossing the border. The division has cared for 7,000 to 8,000 children over the last three years. In the first three months of 2012, it has seen a 77 percent increase in the number of children they are caring for, reports the Express.

The increase in undocumented children has forced the Health and Human Services to house the kids at  Lackland because there is no room at other facilities that house these children normally. This type of government housing is temporary until the children are reunited with family members; others are placed into foster care and some seek legal status, says the Express.

According to the Express, many of these children leave their homes in the hope to escape abuse, pressure to join gangs or be forced into prostitution.  Some non-profits research whether these children may qualify for asylum or legal status or visas.

Two-thirds of the children fleeing into America are coming from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many of the kids are boys and are relatively young, with ages ranging from 12 to 17.

Navy Memorializes LBJ with a Battleship

The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, announced yesterday the Navy plans to honor President Lyndon B. Johnson by naming a warship after him.

The USS Lyndon B. Johnson is a Zumalt-class destroyer. The battleship is designed for both shore and land attacks and will support special operations forces. Fully staffed, it will carry a crew of 148 officers and sailors. The warship is in construction at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works and will be delivered to the Navy in 2018.  

The Navy has named many ships after presidents; the USS Lyndon B. Johnson is the 34th ship to follow in that tradition.

Texas native President Johnson has a history with Navy. While serving in Congress, he became the first congressman to enlist in the military. He served as a naval officer in the Pacific during World War II. After his service in the Navy, he fought to better the standards for those in the military.