higher education

What ‘Cowboy Carter’ says about Blackness, Beyoncé and country music

Questions are still swirling around the deal cut with Attorney General Ken Paxton over securities fraud charges, with prosecutors pointing fingers – at each other. Investigative reporter Lauren McGaughy of The Texas Newsroom has the latest.
As Texans prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime moment, why some say viewing Monday’s total eclipse could make you a better person.
Beyoncé’s exploration of country music in “Cowboy Carter” has sparked conversations about genre stereotypes and cultural boundaries.
Plus: the week in politics with The Texas Tribune.

They’re worked like dogs – but for these canines, farm rustling is the life

The Department of Education launched a renewed version of the FAFSA financial aid form at the end of last year, and the late rollout has caused major issues for applicants and colleges.
Cattle in the Panhandle got sick last week, their milk suddenly turning thick and discolored, after coming down with avian flu.
Many Texans hold jobs in the agricultural sector. But there’s one job on a few cattle farms –and whole lot of sheep farms – that’s literally gone to the dogs. The Standard’s Sarah Asch has the story.
As Bitcoin mining operations grow in Texas, a new wave of attention aimed at crypto turns a spotlight on Austin’s so-called “bitcoin underground.”

What you should know about polling going into election season

After a prolonged legal back-and-forth that ultimately saw it paused again, Texas Senate Bill 4 returned to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. We’ll have the latest on where the immigration law stands.
You’ve likely heard the poll numbers in the presidential race. Do you trust them? Some tips on following the many surveys we’ll be hearing as November approaches.
How community colleges are likely to play a growing role in the future of work in Texas.
And: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued to stop a light-rail initiative in Austin.

Will third time be the charm for SpaceX’s Starship launch from Boca Chica?

The University of Texas at Austin is among other colleges in the country that are bringing back a standardized test requirement for applicants.
A city report has exonerated the Uvalde Police Department for its response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. Despite the report, Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez announced his resignation.
SpaceX plans a new try at launching its Starship super heavy rocket on Thursday from its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
And the discovery of an artifact that one SMU professor believes could be a link to Coronado’s fabled expedition.

The state’s only sugar mill is closing. What’s next for sugar cane farmers?

New laws – one from Texas – to regulate platforms like Facebook and TikTok are getting Supreme Court scrutiny today, with potentially profound implications.
Years of drought have devastated sugar growers in South Texas – so much so that the state’s only sugar mill is closing.
Austin’s I-35, the spine of the region’s roadway grid, is about to undergo the largest expansion since the highway opened in 1962. Nathan Bernier joins with a drill down into what it means.
And: We’ll learn about a device that can help blind and low-vision people experience the eclipse.

Community colleges get a funding boost, but with some changes

Gov. Greg Abbott received a $6 million campaign contribution from an out-of-state mega donor and school voucher advocate. Investigative reporter Lauren McGaughy of the Texas Newsroom shares more.

The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán has the latest on what appear to be endorsement wars among top Texas Republicans.

There’s a new funding formula for community colleges. What could the change add up to?

And commentator W.F. Strong reflects on influencers – both intentional and accidental.

New proposals would let ranchers kill two birds. But is one really a predator?

New laws on arresting migrants who cross the border into Texas illegally are just one of many changes related to border security from this year’s legislative sessions. Julián Aguilar of The Texas Newsroom takes a closer look at what passed, what didn’t, and what it means.

How do Texas voters think lawmakers did dealing with top-line issues in 2023? Jim Henson of the Texas Politics Project shares the findings of a new poll.

A Texas perspective of the struggle over campus free speech.

Democratic lawmakers in Congress are pitching a plan to stop hedge funds from buying rental homes.

And the Standard’s Michael Marks dives in on Texas ranchers’ ongoing fight against predatory birds.

Which major city in Texas has the worst weather?

Ken Paxton’s impeachment and Senate trial was the biggest political story in Texas in decades. History will no doubt recall what transpired over the previous two weeks at the Capitol, but how much do most Texans know that anything happened at all?

A state-imposed superintendent for Houston schools rolls out what he calls the New Education System – and it’s getting a lot of pushback.

Remembering Latina scientist Elma Gonzalez.

And with frequent hurricanes in Southeast Texas, and twisters up north … which big city has the worst weather in Texas, and why?

64,000 Texans stand to benefit from Biden student loan forgiveness

More people in Texas are set to benefit from student debt forgiveness than in any other state.

The Houston Police Department has released a comprehensive report on its investigation into the 2021 Travis Scott Astroworld festival tragedy.

Texas’ major cities are on track to lose lots of jobs to AI, and soon – San Antonio tops the list; Austin and Dallas are not far behind.

Also, billions of dollars have been announced for rural broadband, but apparently there’s a disconnect when it comes to funding the buildout.

‘Lone Stars Rising’ profiles 50 Texans changing our world

The sheriff of Bexar County is pushing for charges to be brought over migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard.

Where did high-profile bills dealing with higher education wind up this legislative session? Kate McGee of the Texas Tribune joins with an overview.

An investigation has revealed a culture of sexism and discrimination in the El Paso Police Department.

Is air travel getting bumpier, or does it just seem that way? A Texas A&M expert explains what’s known as clear air turbulence.

Texas Monthly editor Jeff Salamon discusses “Lone Stars Rising,” a look at 50 Texans who have made a lasting impact in the past 50 years.

And stop the presses: A one-day walkout at the Gannett-owned Austin American-Statesman turns the spotlight on journalists in Texas moving to unionize.

Why many Texas cotton farmers are planting less this year

After a disastrous season for cotton production, could Texas lose its crown as top producer? Three Texans on the front lines talk about why some fear 2023 could be a tipping point.

The head of the University of Texas System Board of Regents puts a pause on new diversity, equity and inclusion policies.

With student debt forgiveness plans on hold, what are the implications for those struggling most to get out from under it?

Also tech expert Omar Gallaga on the rising price of social media verification and whether it pays to buy into the changes.

What zoos are doing to stay safe

Funding for public education is set to take center stage at the Capitol. Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom joins us with what to expect this week as the Senate finance committee takes up education funding.

Some Texas lawmakers say student mental health is a top priority this legislative session. We’ll take a closer look at what’s being proposed.

Nearly two years after a major winter storm that knocked out power statewide, the city of San Antonio is facing a federal lawsuit that says its emergency preparedness plan is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plus: After a series of animal disappearances at the Dallas Zoo, how are zoos and aquariums rethinking security?

Native Austinite Gabriel Luna on ‘The Last of Us’

One year after an attack on a synagogue in north Texas: an appeal to fellow Texans to step up the fight against antisemitism. We’ll have details. Other stories we’re tracking: with a record surplus, a legislative wishlist from leaders of higher ed in Texas. And which comes first, chicken or eggs? Inflation forcing some tough choices for many Texans as grocery prices scramble home budgets. Also dry January? Or just drier than usual? Some considerations for those resolving to abstain from alcohol in the new year. And a post apocalyptic video game transformed into a TV series. Actor Gabriel Luna on the show’s ties to Texas as well as his own plus much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 11, 2022

As protests have grown over the school boards’ handling of the aftermath of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary, the Uvalde school superintendent announces his retirement. We’ll have more on Monday night’s school board session. Also: are national democrats conceding republican gains in south Texas come November? The cancellation of campaign ads in the Rio Grande Valley raising questions. And the annual college rankings: a go to for students and parents. But how useful a tool in the real world? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 26, 2022

A Texas gun restriction for 18 to 20 year olds ruled unconstitutional. This, just 3 months after a young gunman’s deadly attack on a school in Uvalde. A judge in Fort Worth rules that Texas can’t ban 18 to 20 year olds from carrying handguns. We’ll hear more about what’s behind the decision and what comes next. Also beyond debt forgiveness: what can be done to bring down the cost of higher ed in the first place? And amid a water shortage in the Valley, one community moving to reclaim water for the future. Also a teacher shortage today, a crisis for the future? Plus the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 25, 2022

Are billions in school debt owed by Texans about to be written off the books? We’ll look at what President Biden’s announcement adds up to for Texans. Other stories we’re tracking: buying out of flood prone property: what it could mean for a region ravaged by Hurricane Harvey 5 years ago. Also after this weeks rains in North Texas, how the struggle’s just beginning for some families. And as housing prices skyrocket across Texas and many parts of the nation, military allowances not keeping up. And is the University of Texas about to pass Harvard as the country’s wealthiest university?Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 10, 2022

There’s more fallout from the FBI’s raid at the home of former president Donald Trump. What are Texas republicans saying? We’ll explore. Plus having a baby in west Texas is getting more dangerous. We’ll take a look at maternal care west of the Pecos. All that plus our weekly fact check, the latest headlines, and Tom Landry. Today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 11, 2022

What happened to more than a billion dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds for Texas? Officials want to know whether the money was misspent. Were COVID-19 relief funds used to defray the costs of the governor’s border crackdown? That story plus, how nominally non-partisan school board elections in Texas became a magnet for big money donations, and what that could mean for what’s taught in public school classrooms. Also higher ed in Texas prisons: a new report outlines big gender disparities in opportunity. And the work of the code inspector, and why it often isn’t working to help many apartment renters. Plus a Politifact check on SB8 and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 4, 2022

As Texas students return to a post holiday footing some are finding it’s not ‘back to the classroom’ just yet. The latest pandemic spike punching holes in back to school plans. We’ll talk with a panel of education reporters with the latest from across Texas. Also, beef prices skyrocketing, but that money’s not making it back to Texas cattle ranchers. Now the Biden Administration’s stepping in: what Texas rancher’s have to say about the Feds’ new plan. And a new Texas law takes effect trying to put renters on an even footing with homebuyers when it comes to knowing if you live in a floodplain. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard.