The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
More than 500 law enforcement officers, family and friends paid their respects Saturday to a west Texas border patrol agent who died last week. Details surrounding the agent’s death have yet to be revealed.
36-year-old Rogelio Martinez was laid to rest in El Paso, his hometown. About a week ago, Martinez and his partner were found in a culvert near Van Horn. Officials say the two suffered traumatic head injuries and other wounds, including broken bones.
Martinez’ partner has not been named yet and has little memory of what happened.
“We’re going to miss one of our own when he goes, especially in circumstances like this,” said Cordero. While the FBI is investigating potential assaults on a federal officer, they aren’t ruling out accidental causes.
The San Antonio Independent School District is doing a better job feeding its students than other large school districts in Texas, according to recent research from the non-profit advocacy group Children at Risk.
Camille Phillips, an education reporter with Texas Public Radio, explains that since Houston, Dallas and San Antonio serve mostly low-income students, they’re able to offer meals free of charge to everyone. But, Phillips reports, that doesn’t always mean students take the districts up on that offer. According to Children at Risk, San Antonio ISD does the best job of making meals accessible, with almost 90 percent of students eating school lunch. That’s compared to Dallas, which has about 80 percent participation, and Houston, which has a little more than 70 percent.
Bob Sanborn, the president of Children at Risk, told Phillips those numbers matter because students who eat regular meals do better in school.
“If we want to make sure that kids do well academically and make sure that they emerge as hard-working citizens that go to college or get good jobs, we have to make sure that we’re feeding them,” said Sanborn. He adds that participation in breakfast and dinner programs have risen statewide in the last five years.
The Texas Education Agency is facing more scrutiny over how it handles special education after firing its new special education director last week.
The TEA says it fired Laurie Kash because she didn’t reveal she had been accused of covering up sexual abuse allegations when she worked for an Oregon school district.
Aliyya Swaby, who has been covering the story for the Texas Tribune, told Texas Standard last week and she explained that two instructional assistants sued Kash on November 14.
“There was a civil lawsuit filed against her from her old district claiming she had covered up possible sexual abuse of a six-year-old student and then harassed her employees who had reported the abuse,” said Swaby.
Kash argues she was actually fired because she reported the TEA to the federal government, asking it to investigate a no-bid contract awarded by the agency.