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Top Stories: Abbott Launches School Security Discussions; Tuesday Is Runoff Election Day

Erik Hersman

The top local stories this evening from KERA News: 

Governor Greg Abbott is launching a series of roundtable discussions focused on improving school security. Attendees for Tuesday's afternoon's discussion include two North Texas superintendents: Michael Hinojosa with the Dallas school district -- and Ricardo Lopez with Garland ISD.

A fellow Texas Republican is praising Abbott's efforts, but he would like to see the governor do more. State Representative Jason Villalba of Dallas thinks the governor needs to convene lawmakers at the Capitol.

"I do believe it is critically important that the governor call us into special session to address this," Villalba said. "This very serious problem before the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year." 

State Representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie is chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus. He says his party welcomes the governor's roundtables...but wants them to lead to policy changes - including more money for Texas schools.

"The reality is that the continued Republican budget cuts to our public schools have hurt schools' ability to do all kinds of things, starting with their primary responsibility of educating students, but also doing other things to ensure that schools are a safe environment," said Turner. 

Tuesday's roundtable with the governor will also feature state lawmakers from both parties, as well as experts on school marshal programs and school architecture and design.

Other stories this evening: 

  • There's a primary runoff election Tuesday -- and there are several races on the ballot. Texas Democrats will choose their nominee to run for governor -- it's the only statewide runoff. None of the nine Democrats who ran in the March primary won more than 50 percent of the vote, so the top two vote-getters are now facing off. KERA’s Christopher Connelly talked with Eric Aasen about the race between Lupe Valdez and Andrew White.
  • Every election cycle, politicians on both sides of the aisle talk about strengthening the middle class. On Think, host Krys Boyd talked with economist Dambisa Moyo about the connection between a healthy middle class and a healthy democracy.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekday at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Samantha Guzman is the coordinating editor of Arts Access, a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and KERA expanding arts coverage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area through the lens of equity and access.