Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, July 28, 2022:
Congress approved $18 billion dollars in pandemic aid for Texas public schools – an amount the Texas Education Agency says is the largest influx of money Texas schools have seen. But the Dallas Morning News reports the schools themselves have not been able to spend much of that money, and time is running out to do so. Emily Donaldson, a reporter for the Dallas Morning News Education Lab, tells us more.
As school districts across Texas deal with ongoing teacher shortages, there is increasing pressure to come up with unique ways to attract and retain educators. In rural parts of the state, where keeping staff can be especially challenging, more districts are adopting a four-day school week model as an incentive. Brian Lopez has been tracking this trend for the Texas Tribune.
There are more than three dozen veteran’s courts in Texas. Their goal is to help meet the specific needs of vets involved in the criminal justice system. From KERA North Texas, Caroline Love takes us inside the program in Collin County.
If you use Instagram, you might have noticed that the app’s look is changing. Where photos used to be, users now find many more videos, along with content recommended by Instagram itself. It’s a clear response to the success of another social media platform – TikTok. But with the change, Instagram and its parent company, Meta, are facing a backlash from big-time influencers. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga has been watching the fallout.
After Hurricane Harvey drenched the Texas coast in 2017, rising water wasn’t the only danger to folks in the path of the storm. As a hub for industries like petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing, Harvey also increased the risk of pollution by toxic materials. Now, the results of a new study are helping scientists better understand the extent to which Harvey exposed people to hazardous chemicals. Kim Anderson, head of the environmental and molecular toxicology department at Oregon State University, shares how she and her team used silicone wristbands to measure exposure.
Continued drought leads to social, environmental instability
On Saturday, two armed men hijacked a shipment of 8,000 gallons of water on the highway to Monterrey from Reynosa. A severe drought throughout the American West and Northern Mexico is leading to social and environmental instability. But a researcher is warning some things may not get better even after this drought is over. Texas Public Radio’s Pablo De La Rosa explains:
As August approaches, the summer travel window nears a close for many families with school-aged children. But a familiar face to many San Antonians is taking folks along on her continuous journeys across the world. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan reports she just checked off a big goal on her bucket list – and it wasn’t easy.
The Texas Department of Transportation plans to spend more than $74 billion over the next decade on new roads and highways across the state. Many of the funded projects are huge undertakings and would significantly expand roadways in some of Texas’ biggest cities. Despite that, TxDOT says the projects won’t significantly affect the environment. Austin-based journalist Megan Kimble wrote about the state agency’s environmental review process in Grist.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Michael Marks with the Talk of Texas.