Texas Standard for January 21, 2022

What, exactly, does Gov. Abbott’s newly unveiled “Parental Bill of Rights” really mean for Texas public schools? And: Many renters in Hays County brace themselves as federal dollars for a COVID rent relief program disappear. Those stories, the week in politics, and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 21, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, January 21, 2022.

‘Parental Bill of Rights’ latest step in Republican war over school curriculum 

In the latest push from Texas Republicans to crack down on how race and sexuality are taught in public schools, Gov. Greg Abbott is calling for a “Parental Bill of Rights.” It would amend the state constitution to read that parents are the “main decision makers in all matters” and make all lesson plans available via the internet. Emily Donaldson, reporter with The Dallas Morning News Education Lab, joins us with the story.

Expanded Medicaid coverage could be coming to a close

The number of Texans able to keep their Medicaid benefits has ballooned throughout the pandemic. The federal COVID-19 public health emergency allows people to keep their coverage even if they no longer qualify, but that could end this spring. Houston Public Media’s Sara Willa Ernst spoke with a policy expert about what the change could mean for Texans.

More Vietnam vets now qualify for disability benefits, but it may be years before they see the money

Vietnam veterans suffering from certain medical conditions became eligible for “presumptive” disability benefits last year. The change means they can get compensation from the government without individually proving their illnesses are related to military service. Still, vets may wait years to receive those benefits, due to a long backlog at the VA. Carson Frame reports for the American Homefront Project.

Hays County is still struggling to give out COVID-19 rent relief. Now, the program is losing money.

After failing to spend COVID-19 rent relief funds promptly enough, Hays County is losing almost $800,000 in federal funding for its  program. Now, as KUT Austin’s Riane Roldan reports, the program is in danger of losing more money this year.

‘Queer Eye’ star hopes exposure helps keep her East Austin COVID-19 clinic up and running

The Netflix show “Queer Eye” filmed its latest season in Austin. The cast highlighted people who have given back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. KUT’s Marisa Charpentier checks in with one of the featured stars to see what’s happened since the cameras stopped rolling.

The Sounds of Texas: This singing telegram group was born out of pandemic desperation

This musical duo, like most other performers, was set adrift during the pandemic. That desperation led to a new musical project they now believe will outlast social distancing.

Powerful new VR installation puts you on a migrant’s journey

What’s it like to be a migrant crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on foot? In Dallas, there’s a chance to get a powerful glimpse, through a virtual reality experience called “CARNE y ARENA.” Created by Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, it opens today at Fair Park. KERA’s Miguel Perez got an early look and talked to Iñárritu in an exclusive interview.

All this, plus Friday favorites: Typewriter Rodeo and the Texas Tribune’s James Barragán with the week in Texas politics, Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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