2013 AISD Bond Election

AISD
5:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Austin ISD Names New Athletic Director

Leal Anderson, AISD's new athletic director, comes to the district from Anderson High School.
hometeamsonline.com

The Austin Independent School District has a new athletic director. Leal Anderson will oversee AISD sports programs that involve more than 14,000 students. Anderson says part of his mission is improving the academic success of students through the character development that happens in athletics.

"I think graduation will increase," Anderson said at a media availability Tuesday." I think the numbers of enrollment will also increase. We'll also have less students dropping out. Those are things that I think are really important, that will help. And that's what I look forward to doing."

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Education
5:36 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Why Austin ISD Can't Spend Any of Its 2013 Bond Money

While voters approved two of the four AISD bond propositions in May, a pending lawsuit with the Travis County Taxpayers Association is keeping the district from implementing projects associated with the bond money.
KUT News

In May, Austin voters approved nearly $600 million dollars in bond propositions for capital improvements in the Austin School District.

The money is allocated for technology upgrades in the classroom and district offices, and systemic repairs to facilities on campuses across the district, among other upgrades.

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AISD Fascilities Master Plan
3:18 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

After Funding Failure, What's Next for Austin School Facilities Plan?

AISD's Facility Maps. The district approved Facility Master Plan guiding principles last night, and will now begin crafting the actual plan.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin School Board last night approved a set of principles to direct them as they begin to create a Facility Master Plan, a document that will guide the board’s decision making process as it deals with facilities across the city. The principles were approved with an emphasis on community engagement.

“We need to educate all our constituents about a topic that is quite complex. You’re dealing from safety to facility construction, to financial to communications to academics," says School Board President Vincent Torres.

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Politics
7:23 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Gov. Perry Calls Third Special Session of Texas Legislature

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Just over an hour after lawmakers ended their second 30-day special session of the year, Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers back for a third one, with transportation funding the only issue on the agenda.

"When it comes to transportation, the stakes facing our state could not be higher, and a failure to act now could take years — if not most of a decade — to correct, as traffic congestion increases and harms our quality of life," Perry said in a statement announcing the call.

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Politics
11:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Gov. Perry Signs Texas' Sweeping Abortion Bill Into Law

Gov. Rick Perry shakes hands with State. Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, one of the sponsors of House Bill 2, on July 18, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a controversial bill into law this morning.

"It is a happy, celebratory day, and so many of you in this audience are the reason we're here today," Perry said. "In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built upon."

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Politics
7:50 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Public Input Sought for Rules on Texas Abortion Clinics' Upgrade

The Texas Department of Health Services will seek public input as it drafts the rules for the state's abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards.
Image courtesy Daquella Manera at flickr.com

Now that House Bill 2 has passed and awaits Governor Rick Perry’s signature, a long process will begin to determine how the new, stricter standards for abortion clinics will be implemented. 

The Texas Department of Health Services will be in charge of writing rules for how abortion clinics in Texas will need to upgrade.

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Politics
6:17 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Both Sides on Texas Abortion Bill Welcome Future Legal Challenges

Opponents and supporters of House Bill 2, the Texas omnibus abortion bill, say they expect good to come out of a legal challenge in federal court.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

A familiar sound filled the Texas House on Wednesday morning – the voting bell, applause and protesters.

House Bill 2 passed, 96 to 49 nays, and it's also expected to pass the Senate, late this week or early next. Opponents of the new abortion restrictions say regardless, it will end up in court.

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Austin
4:22 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Here's What Can Get You Kicked Out of the Texas Capitol

Thousands of activists on both sides of the abortion debate convened on the south steps of the Capitol on Monday. Protest has been vocal in the legislature’s special sessions.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Decorum is the word these past few weeks at the Texas Capitol.

In the Legislature's special sessions, protest has been vocal - both outside the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. Today in the House, five opponents of HB 2 were reportedly arrested by DPS troopers for failing to adhere to the chamber’s decorum. In the Senate, the so-called “citizens’ filibuster” ended the first special session with a deafening crescendo, blocking an omnibus abortion bill in its final moments.

But how does the state define decorum?

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Comprehensive Sex Ed Proposed in Response to Texas Abortion Debate

As part of the abortion debate - galvanized by Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster - Democratic lawmakers want to teach Texas students comprehensive sex education.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country.  According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2008, Texan teens had 85 pregnancies per 1,000 women 15-19 years old.

And while protests and hearings continue around Senate Bill 1 — the bill that would limit access to abortions in Texas — some Democratic state lawmakers have filed two bills that would make changes to health and sex education.

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Politics
6:53 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Senate Committee Wraps Testimony on Texas Abortion Bill

The line of those wishing to testify in the Capitol Extension. DPS estimates over 1,700 people waiting in line, some of whom have been waiting since early this morning.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Update: The Senate Health & Human Services Committee public hearing on Senate Bill 1 wrapped up just before 2 a.m. Tuesday. Senators did not vote on the bill.

Original Story (July 8, 10 a.m.): The Senate Health & Human Services Committee is holding a public hearing today on a bill that would limit access to abortions in Texas.

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Politics
1:59 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Texas Senators Wrap Abortion Testimony After March, Rally (Photos)

A line of state troopers blocks hundreds of protestors (primarily abortion-rights advocates) from the Capitol steps as an anti-abortion rally comes to a close Monday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

For the first time since State Sen. Wendy Davis' historic Senate filibuster last month, Texas senators revisited the abortion debate at a committee hearing that ended at almost 2 a.m. Tuesday.

There won't be a vote on this bill for now. Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says the Senate will wait on the Texas House to approve its version of the bill. The full House is taking up the issue today.

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Education
3:17 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Tuition Revenue Bond Bill Refiled - But Will It Go Anywhere?

Sen. Kel Seliger refiled a bill in the second special session to put money towards infrastructure projects for Texas universities, but he's not confident Gov. Rick Perry will add it to the list of bills to discuss.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

State Senator Kel Seliger re-filed a bill that would provide $2.7 billion dollars to public universities for infrastructure improvements.

But he's not confident that Gov. Rick Perry will add the bill to the agenda of the state's newest special session.

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83rd Texas Legislature
5:40 am
Mon July 1, 2013

As New Special Session Starts, So Does Debate Over 'Blocker Bills'

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In the Texas legislature, every rosebush has a thorn.

So-called rosebush bills, or blocker bills, have a unique role that allow senators to delay a debate on a bill, or block a bill’s movement altogether.

It’s typically a tactic used by the legislative minority, but two bills filed by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, could serve as hurdles for lawmakers in the second special session that begins Monday.

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Agenda Texas
8:41 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Rules Fight Looms Over Texas Legislature's Latest Special Session

Se. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, addressing abortion-rights supporters after Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster. Lawmakers will head back to the Capitol on Monday to continue the debate of controversial abortion regulations that ended the first special session.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is fond of special sessions. Since 2000, he's called for 11 special sessions as governor. And, after the legislative fireworks in the final hours of the last special session, Gov. Perry called yet another special session, bringing lawmakers back to Austin to address transportation, criminal justice and abortion regulations not covered last session's call.

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Politics
7:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

How Cheering Activists Defeated the Texas Abortion Bill

State Sen. Wendy Davis in the Senate chamber last night. A raucous crowd disrupted the last 10 or so minutes of the Legislature's special session, after Sen. Davis' filibuster ended.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Hundreds of supporters in orange shirts were at the Texas Capitol throughout the day on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, hoping to watch State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, successfully filibuster Senate Bill 5

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