01.16.13

Texas links of Interest

Posted in Around The State at 11:25 pm by wcnews

The Texas Freedom Network has released a report on teaching the bible in public schools.  It’s called, Reading, Writing & Religion II: Texas Public School Bible Courses in 2011-12.  Here’s what it’s about:

Bible courses can be an effective way to teach public school students about the importance of religion in history and literature. However, Bible courses in public schools must be taught in an academic, non-devotional manner that refrains from promoting or disparaging religion or promotiong one particular faith perspective over all others. Many courses fail this most basic test and jeopardize the religious freedom of students. Below are original reports from the TFN Education Fund that reveal how challenging it is to create courses that are both legally and ethically appropriate as well as academically sound.

Read the report here.

We couldn’t just do it because it’s the right thing to do. We had to wait until it’s good for the bidness community, Big-business lobby enters fray on criminal justice reforms. They do pay for most of our office holders campaign expenses, so it’s only fair that they should get to make this decision. That’s the way Texas operates right now unfortunately.  Better late than never, Grits has more.

Speaking of campaign finance corruption, the Texas Rootstrikers are having an even this Saturday, Rally Against Citizens United/In Support of SCR 2 & HCR 21.

Texas Rootstrikers, a student organization at UT Austin, along with Texans United to Amend are hosting a rally at the State Capitol. We hope to raise awareness of the negative effects of the Citizen’s United ruling, and to support recent legislation proposed in our State legislator. Currently there are three bills being proposed. Two bills are to call congress to amend the constitution, and one is to call for an Article V constitutional convention. There will be many speakers, comedians, and some great musical acts. This is a great way to meet others in the area, and from all across Texas, who are also concerned about money’s influence in politics. I hope to see, and meet, other Rootstrikers from the area.

Click the link above for more information.

Despite the surplus, the Parks and Wildlife Department is getting the short end of the stick again, Texas Parks and Wildlife faces still more budget cuts.

The great outdoors could get a bit smaller in Texas as the state legislature looks for more ways to cut costs in spite of a projected $8.8 billion dollar surplus.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is no stranger to budget cuts – since 2000, the department has seen its budget continuously pared down and 27 parks permanently closed.

This biennium, the department asked the legislature for an extra $18.9 million on top of its operating budget to maintain and improve the park system. Instead, The Legislative Budget Board, the state’s financial advisory entity, is recommending about $28 million in cuts and closing 11 more of our remaining 95 state parks, which has park officials understandably concerned.

“Parks are critical to a healthy lifestyle, to have that connection with nature,” says Cory Evans, Palo Duro Canyon State Park Superintendent. “Our state is increasingly urbanized and just the opportunity to get out and visit and be exposed to nature and the outdoors is absolutely critical.”

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