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Food Stamp Ban For Drug Felons Causing More H.I.V. Cases, Study Finds


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Food insecurity and prostitution in Texas, the paradigm shift behind Teach For America, a public Dallas City Council candidate forum looks at the Arts District and more.

Anyone convicted of a drug-related felony in Texas is banned from receiving cash assistance or food stamps – for life. A new food insecurity study by Yale University shows a troubling domino effect for families affected by this rule.

Researchers found more young mothers who can’t get help in Texas and two other states are turning to prostitution, and their risk of H.I.V exposure is growing. The New York Times’ editorial board came out against Congress’ decision to let states decide whether or not to opt out of the ban – most have discarded the rule. [NY Times]

  • Teach for America, which takes young idealists through a rigorous training process before placing them in schools with definitive need, has a strong base in Houston. Already this year, the Houston School Board approved a new contract with TFA for $600,000. Not a month went by before the board approved a reduction in force. KUHF’s Laura Isensee asks Luis Elizonda-Thompson, the program’s director in Houston, why school boards would pay more for teachers who may not stay more than 2 years. This controversy has been mounting for a while and Dallas isn’t exempt. Here’s the story of one young former teacher who taught in Oak Cliff via TAF.                                             
  • Candidates for Dallas City Council District 14 will air their takes on and hopes for the Arts District’s future tonight at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. The forum is free and open to the public – and you can count on KERA for the recap. To prep your own questions, revisit this State of the Arts discussion on the neighborhood back in October including Veletta Forsythe Lill, then the outgoing executive director of the Dallas Arts District. (Art&Seek sponsors that forum series.)  [Dallas Morning News]

  • The GOP is beginning a $10 million initiative to reach out to Hispanic voters by cozying up to immigration overhaul. A post-election report with proposals for outreach issued by the Party says a push for immigration reform is “consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.” [USA Today]
  • Starbucks knows how (painfully) much North Texans are on the road. So the company is plopping 15 Seattle’s Best mini-drive thrus in the area. Exact locations weren’t disclosed in the news release. Hints did come about the menu options, though. You won’t find a menu item over $5 --not even the “hearty egg sandwich” -- the company promises. [Dallas Morning News]
Lyndsay Knecht is assistant producer for Think.