NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Texas Likely To Face School Finance Issues & Nightly Roundup

By KERA News

Dallas, TX –

With budget problems mounting for many Texas school districts, the next governor will likely inherit a funding system experts say has become a legal and financial quagmire.

As the state's top executive officer, the governor will guide the $35 billion public school system and its 4.4 million students. Experts say the system needs a major overhaul to make sure schools get enough money to keep pace with costs and avoid another lawsuit.

School consultant Joe Smith is a former school district superintendent. He says he thinks "the situation will manifest itself or start manifesting itself in 2011 in an extreme way." He says, "There's going to be a whole lot of districts that are going to be up against the wall."

Hutchison to air campaign radio ads

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who's running for Texas governor, will begin airing radio ads. Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the ads would start Thursday and air around the state through November.

Hutchison is trying to unseat Gov. Rick Perry in the March 2010 Republican primary.

She's also sending out recorded telephone messages to GOP voters. The messages highlight Hutchison's opposition to Democratic health care and environmental legislation.

TX agency shoots down sewage discharge plan

The state environmental agency has voted down a proposal to allow millions of gallons of treated sewage to be dumped into several popular central Texas lakes. It's a plan that angered many waterfront property owners, elected officials and environmentalists.

Commissioners at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted 3-0 Wednesday to deny a request to lift a 23-year-old ban on discharges of effluent into the Highland Lakes.

TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow says Highland Lakes provides drinking water to more than a million people.

Man who threw woman in river executed in Texas

A convicted killer who volunteered for execution but in recent weeks changed his mind has been put to death in Texas. Thirty-year-old Danielle Simpson received lethal injection Wednesday evening for the abduction-slaying of an 84-year-old east Texas woman who was weighted down with a cinder block and thrown into a river.

Simpson had won approval from a federal court that he was competent to decide to drop his appeals. Then Simpson he himself and allowed lawyers to try to save him. Attorneys contended he was mentally ill.

He was condemned for the murder of Geraldine Davidson, a former school teacher and church organist abducted nearly 10 years ago during a burglary of her home in Palestine, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

Shuttle docks at space station, looks 'beautiful'

Space shuttle Atlantis is arriving at the International Space Station.

Atlantis docked just before noon Wednesday. Before pulling up, the shuttle performed a pirouette for the space station cameras to check for any damage to the thermal tiles on its belly. NASA says so far, all indications are that Atlantis made it through Monday's liftoff just fine.

Space station resident Nicole Stott was thrilled to see her ride home. She's been at the orbiting outpost for two-and-a-half months. Stott said Atlantis looked beautiful as it approached the space station.

The six astronauts on the shuttle and six on the station will team up to unload the tons of newly delivered spare parts.