News Roundup: More Texas Schools Are Getting High-Speed Internet

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelOctober 3, 2018 2:24 pm

Gov. Greg Abbott is touting new numbers that show even more Texas schools have access to high-speed internet this year.

97 percent of school districts in the state now have high speed connectivity, compared to 67 percent just a few years ago in 2015. That’s according to the annual “State of the States” report the nonprofit, EducationSuperHighway, released Tuesday.

Grace Ting is a state engagement manager for the advocacy group. She explains that Gov. Abbott and Texas lawmakers have made increasing access to high speed internet a priority – including allocating $25 million of funding for this effort.

“It’s called the Texas State Match Fund and that was passed in the summer of 2017,” Ting says. “[It] actually enables districts to get additional funding from the federal government to match what the state is putting up, to help cover the cost of fiber construction to get to districts that don’t already have it.”

Gov. Abbott launched an initiative in partnership with EducationSuperHighway and the Texas Education Agency several years ago focused on increasing the number of school districts with high speed internet access. Ting says her group has similar partnerships with about half of the states in the country.

The report points out that more 270,000 Texas students still don’t have access to high speed internet at school.

The November general election is still a month away, but it’s time for overseas and military voters to start sending in absentee ballots so they arrive by state deadlines.

Texas Public Radio’s Carson Frame reports that for U.S. voters living abroad or deployed with the military, casting ballots can be a challenge. So this week, military installations, embassies, and consulates are reminding them to vote now.

Election offices nationwide were required to send requested ballots by September 22. But military members and overseas citizens can use a federal backup ballot if their official one doesn’t arrive in time for them to vote by the deadline.

A recent study by the Federal Voting Assistance Program found that the voting rate among overseas citizens in 2016 would have been over five times higher if they had been able to vote as easily as people living stateside.

The Texas woman who inspired the Buddy Holly classic “Peggy Sue” died at a Lubbock hospital Monday.

Peggy Sue Gerron Rackham was 78 years old. Buddy Holly and the Crickets performed the song bearing her name on The Ed Sullivan show in 1957.

The Associated Press reports that Gerron moved to Lubbock in high school, where she met Holly and his friends.