The Lead
8:59 am
Wed March 6, 2013

The Lead: SXSW EDU, Texas and Gun Background Checks, Dell Shareholders’ Questions

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin’s in for a partly cloudy and cool day, with a high in the mid-60s.

Lead Story: This year’s array of South by Southwest conferences started this week with South by Southwest EDU, focusing on education.

One speaker yesterday was AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who looked ahead at the changing challenges for public education.

“The changing demographics that are really going to be important to serve today’s learners,” Dr. Carstarphen said, “so that they are tomorrow’s leaders.” Carstarphen said the fastest-growing demographic in Austin is English language learners.

SXSW EDU wraps up tomorrow with a closing keynote from Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Poll: Texans Support Gun Background Checks Most Texans support criminal and mental background checks on all gun purchases, according to a new poll by the University of Texas and The Texas Tribune.

Almost four out of five respondents said they would like to see those kinds of checks before guns are sold. However, 56 percent of respondents said stricter gun laws would lead to little to no improvement in reducing gun violence. The Internet survey of 1,200 voters was conducted late last month and has a margin of error of almost 3 percentage points.   

You can also read UT/TT polls on how Gov. Perry’s re-election chances fare in 2014, and Texas voters’ top concerns.

Dell Shareholders’ Questions: Dell's largest shareholder is demanding more information from the Round Rock-based computer maker in a bid to take the company private.

Memphis-based Southeastern Asset Management accuses Dell of grossly undervaluing the company. In a letter filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Southeastern reiterates its opposition to the 24-billion dollar buyout and says Dell is “intentionally emphasizing declining PC sales in order to justify its inadequate buyout price.”

Dell employs about 14,000 people in Central Texas.