Texas Standard For June 29, 2021

How much wall can a governor buy with $600,000 in donations? Our conversation ahead of the Abbott-Trump border visit. And: We’ll talk about topics involving the children of the state, the workers who care for our kids when they’re little, and the test scores kids get when they’re big. We now know how much those scores dropped after two years of school interruptions. Also: Did you know your electricity could be disconnected starting today if your bill is unpaid? It’s rough but moratoriums are over. Plus: How big tech may get restrained by Congress. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 29, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

Trump Visit Preview 

Rio Grande Valley communities are preparing for former President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s visit to the Texas-Mexico border tomorrow. This visit comes on the heels of Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip last Friday to El Paso. John Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network. He’s following Trump and Abbott’s border tour from the South Texas city of Edinburgh. John joins us now. Thanks for being here.

TEA Test Scores, Latest

We now have a much fuller picture of how Texas public school students performed on the state’s standardized tests during the pandemic. Scores dropped dramatically. Emily Donaldson is an education reporter for the Dallas Morning News’ Education Lab and talks to the Standard.

Dallas Police Focus on Hate Crimes

The Dallas Police Department has launched a new effort to get more residents to report crime. As KERA’s Bill Zeeble tells us, there’s a special focus on reaching out to the LGBTQ community.

Disconnections Resume

Starting today, private electricity corporations can shut off power to Texans who don’t pay their bills. State regulators halted disconnections as COVID-19 wreaked economic havoc on working people last year, and again in response to the winter storm. For months, private companies have pushed for an end to the moratorium, and they got their wish just as the summer heat arrived. TPR’s Dominic Anthony Walsh reports.

Congress and Big Tech

People have been talking for a long time about how big some tech companies have become. Amazon, Apple, and Google are retailers, manufacturers, media companies and more. But Washington now seems poised to do something about that. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved a handful of bills designed to push back on big tech’s plans to get bigger. Gilad Edelman has been writing about tech and politics for a long time — he’s now at Wired.

“Hola Papi”

Advice columns like those written by Dear Abby or Miss Manners have gone out of vogue, but people still need – sometimes even crave – advice, especially when they’re part of a marginalized community like the LGBTQ+ community. This realization helped J. P. Brammer create a column for those who needed that connection and wanted to be heard.And now he has a new book based on his column, called “Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons.” Brammer joins us to talk about the book.

El Paso Child Care Shortage

As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, some employers are having trouble filling jobs. This is especially true in lower-wage industries. But in El Paso there’s a shortage of child care workers for a different reason: competition. It’s one way to track the impact of illegal immigration in the area. The child care workers are being recruited to work at shelters for migrants. Victoria Rossi, who reported this story for El Paso Matters, talks to the Standard.

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

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