Workforce Commission Will Assist Disabled Job Training Clients With Voter Registration

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelFebruary 23, 2018 2:34 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Texas Workforce Commission says it will provide voter registration services to those with disabilities who receive job assistance from the agency.

The move comes after the TWC was threatened with a lawsuit.

DaLyah Jones, with KUT News in Austin, has more.

In a joint statement, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Secretary of State announced a collaborative effort to provide voter registration services to Texans under the Vocational Rehabilitation program. The Texas Civil Rights Project and disability rights advocacy groups had threatened legal action in a letter to the agency earlier this month, if those policy changes weren’t made.

In 2016, the Workforce Commission took over vocational rehabilitation services from the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. But voter registration services were not continued. Advocacy groups say that violated the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.

Keith Ingram is the Director of Elections for the Texas Secretary of State.“The workforce commission will be offering voter registration to all clients of that program in the near future and we will be working with them to get this program up and running as soon as possible.”

The Texas Civil Rights Project says the absence of voter registration services affected over 74,000 people with disabilities each year.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas says he isn’t opposed to letting teachers carry a gun in the classroom. The Republican made the comments at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. There, President Trump’s recent proposal to arm teachers in the wake of last week’s school shooting in Florida came up.

Cruz said it should be up to the individual. “It makes perfect sense that if teachers want to exercise their right to keep and bear and arms that only makes schools safer,” said Cruz. He added,  “I don’t think you should make teachers do that but if a teacher is comfortable and wants to be prepared to defend himself or herself, that’s a good thing.

Cruz’s appearance came amid his reelection bid to hold onto his Senate seat. Early voting in the 2018 party primaries in Texas is currently underway.

A national charter school network with locations in several Texas cities has fired its cofounder after an investigation into several allegations of sexual misconduct. Mike Feinberg started KIPP when he was a teacher in Houston in the 1990s and grew it into a national force.

Laura Isensee with Houston Public Media describes one of the allegations:

In a letter posted online, the superintendent of KIPP Houston and the CEO of the network’s foundation explained why Feinberg was terminated Thursday from the organization he helped found and worked with for over 20 years. The letters says last spring they received an allegation that Feinberg had sexually abused a student in the late 1990s. That prompted KIPP to hire outside investigators who the schools say found it to be credible, though the letter says Feinberg denies any wrongdoing.”

Feinberg did not respond to Houston Public Media’s request for comment.