Texas Standard for 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. And: 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. Also: A new Texas law takes effect that’s trying to put renters on an even footing with home buyers when it comes to knowing if you live in a flood plain. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard.

By Texas StandardJanuary 4, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, January 4, 2022.

Roundtable on schools post-holiday response to COVID

How is the latest spike of COVID-19 affecting schooling during this pandemic? The Texas Standard asks education reporters from across the state. Emily Donaldson is a reporter for the Dallas Morning News’ Education Lab. Claire McInerny is with the Standard’s home station KUT in Austin. And Matt Wilson is education reporter for the Monitor News in McAllen.

COVID immunity

Some survivors of severe COVID-19 have hoped their grueling battle might give them natural immunity against getting severe COVID a second time. However, research out of UT Health San Antonio finds these survivors may actually be at higher risk than others of getting sick with COVID again. Texas Public Radio’s Bonnie Petrie explains.

Biden meat inflation relief

Beef prices are up over 20% compared to this time last year. According to folks who raise cattle, it’s not just inflation that’s the culprit — it’s also outsized control by giant meatpacking corporations. Those claims have caught the attention of the Biden administration. For more, Texas Standard turns to Shelby Horn, a rancher from Fredericksburg and a member of the board of directors of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Next Gen: ‘John Chavez,’ by Pete Ramirez

Every Sunday, John Chavez rolls his muted black 1979 El Camino to a park on Austin’s east side for a gathering of car clubs. The meet ups may be intimidating to some outsiders but Chavez wants everyone to feel welcome. He shared his story with Pete Ramirez as part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio project.

Dual credit efforts

U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas) is co-sponsoring a bill with Jared Golden (D-Maine) that would highlight and honor the nation’s best high school college credit programs. In a politically-divided nation, this infrequent bipartisan effort might seem like an easy win. But KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports it’s failed once before.

New landlord flood plain disclosure law

Landlords in Texas are now required to inform prospective renters whether their properties are in flood plains. This is the result of a new law that went into effect January 1. Houston Chronicle staff writer Jasper Scherer talks with the Standard about what the law requires.

Strip club lawsuits

The gig economy has received backlash over the years for the use of contract workers who often put in the same hours as full time employees but don’t get the pay or benefits of one. Now, many dancers at strip clubs are taking the business owners to court for back wages. Lise Olsen writes about this for the Texas Observer and shares her story with the Texas Standard.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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