Matthew Waller

A Texas Capitol reporter with Scripps Howard / Serving Abilene, Corpus Christi, San Angelo and Wichita Falls

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New Abbott education emphasizes digital learning

Texas Attorney General sent out this release in his run for governor, the 3rd education plan plank.

Greg Abbott’s Educating Texans Plan: Digital Learning

TYLER – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today unveiled the third phase of his “Educating Texans” policy plan in Tyler. In remarks delivered at Dr. Bryan C. Jack Elementary, Abbott laid out a series of recommendations to put Texas on a path to be at the forefront of digital learning.
In the included remarks, Abbott discussed his vision for Texas’ education system, stating that his digital learning plan “casts a vision to the future and focuses on learning without limits. Learning is no longer bound by bricks and mortar – it is expanded exponentially by bytes and bandwidth…For Texas to continue to grow and prosper, we must prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Greg Abbott’s digital learning plan will:

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New classes point to jobs

By Matthew Waller / April 26, 2014
AUSTIN — Griffin Kent isn’t entirely sure what course he wants his high school education to take. Whatever he decides, he has choices — ones that could put him on a concrete path to a career.

The eighth-grader at San Angelo’s Lee Middle School said he is leaning toward engineering, maybe mechanical or civil, but he wants to look around first.

“It’s a little overwhelming, but at the same time it’s very exciting,” Kent said. “Right now I’m still exploring.”

With the end of the school year nigh, students might be thinking about their summer jobs. Or they might be thinking about their next class lineup.

A new lineup of courses brought about by a law passed last year has Texas turning toward a public education system that moves kids directly toward a career and the workplace.

The major education reform bill that passed into law last session, House Bill...

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Abbott’s second education plan: school governance

From the release of Texas Attorney General Abbott’s education plan release

Greg Abbott’s Educating Texans Plan: School Governance

HOUSTON – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today unveiled the second phase of his “Educating Texans” policy plan in Houston. In remarks delivered at Northbrook High School, Abbott emphasized the importance of genuine local control. Abbott offered reforms that will return control of schools to the local districts, encourage parental engagement through transparency and empowerment, help teachers and principals to become more effective through professional development, and ensure that all students have access to an education that helps them succeed.
In the included remarks, Abbott discussed his vision for Texas’ education system, saying, “As governor, I will return control of our schools to the districts and the communities they serve. I...

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DPS vacating residents and taking inventory of YFZ Ranch

Statement released from Texas DPS on polygamist sect ranch action.

On January 6, 2014, the State of Texas obtained a final judgment of forfeiture from the 51st Judicial District Court, which directed the State to take possession of the forfeited property, known as the YFZ Ranch in Eldorado, Texas. The final judgment was the result of the Attorney General’s Office filing for the seizure of this property in 2012.

At approximately 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety met with current residents of the property and provided them with copies of the court orders applicable to the forfeiture – the residents have agreed to vacate the property.

Law enforcement personnel are working with the occupants of the ranch to take all reasonable actions to assist with their departure of the property, to preserve the property, and...

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Tech survey puts Abbott ahead on gov race, Texans split on gay marriage

Here is the release from the University

Texas Tech Survey: Abbott to Win Texas Governor, Voter ID Law Didn’t Cause Problems and Texans Split on Gay Marriage

If the election for Texas governor election was held today, a majority of Texans would pick Greg Abbott, according to a poll of voting-age Texans conducted by undergraduate students at the Earl Survey Research Lab at Texas Tech University.

However, researchers found that very few Texas voters had problems with the voter photo ID laws, and more Texans have changed their minds in favor of gay marriage since last year.

In step with Texas’ strong Republican leanings, 54 percent of those polled said they’d vote for Abbott, while 25 percent said they’d vote for Wendy Davis. Six percent said they were voting for some other party, while 15 percent still had to decide.

In a statewide telephone survey, students queried more than 454...

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Texas GOP gov candidate Abbott accepting Bitcoin

Here is the release from the campaign on Abbott accepting Bitcoin

AUSTIN – Texans for Greg Abbott today announced that Bitcoin will now be accepted as a form of campaign contribution through Bitcoin, a new and decentralized digital currency, enables instant financial transactions with a new level of safety and security. Texans for Greg Abbott is one of the first major statewide campaigns to accept Bitcoin, and is excited to implement the new form of payment as an extension of the campaign’s commitment to unprecedented digital outreach.

“I’m excited to see our campaign add another tool to our cutting-edge digital outreach, which is allowing us to reach more Texans than any previous campaign in the state,” said Greg Abbott. “The spirit of Bitcoin embodies the free market principles that make Texas a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. We welcome the Bitcoin...

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Congressman insinuates U.S. attorney general should be in jail

AUSTIN — Members of Congress had harsh words for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday, including U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold who suggested that the attorney general’s conduct in an average person could merit jail time.

Amid the heated comments of the wide-ranging House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Holder was the only witness.

Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, said Holder shouldn’t be present because he had been held in contempt of Congress, and he said an American citizen would be in jail under similar circumstances.

“I don’t think Mr. Holder should be here,” Farenthold said. “He’s in contempt of this body. I’ve called for his resignation, I’ve sponsored articles of impeachment, and this week I’m going to be introducing legislation that would prevent federal employees who are held in contempt of Congress or who fail to fully comply with a Congressional subpoena from being...

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Abbott goes head to head with Head Start in gov run, says Texas can do pre-K better

By Matthew Waller
AUSTIN — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is attacking the Head Start program in his Republican gubernatorial run and saying that Texas can do a better job.

Head Start is a federal program to help children from birth to 5 years old in low-income families with issues such as education, social and emotional development, and physical development.

Abbott, who has built a reputation for suing the federal government, said that Head Start largely has been a failure, and he wants to get more children enrolled into state-supported preschool.

“Recommendation: Given the established deficiencies in the Head Start program, develop a strategic plan to encourage parents of eligible 4-year-old children to enroll their children in state-based prekindergarten programs, rather than Head Start,” reads part of the early education policy platform Abbott rolled out this week.


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Sen. Davis on pre-K and “Waste”

Sen. Wendy Davis’ office wrote a the statement below in response to this article.

From the story: “‘Expanding the population of students served by existing state-funded programs without addressing the quality of existing prekindergarten instruction or how it is being delivered would be an act of negligence and waste,’ according to an Abbott policy proposal, which provides the first glimpse into his education ideas.”

Here is the Davis release:

Wendy Davis to Greg Abbott: The Education of a Texas Child is Not a “Waste”

At Education Roll Out, Abbott Says It Would Be a “Waste” To Expand Pre-K to All Texas Children

Abbott’s Plan: Pre-K For Chosen Few But Not All Hardworking Texas Children Will Set State Backwards

FORT WORTH - Today, Wendy Davis released the following statement after Greg Abbott called it a “waste” to ensure all Texas children have access to full day pre-K in the state:


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Abbott’s early education plan

Here is the Greg Abbott release on his early education plan.

Read a release from Davis’ campaign after his remarks.

WESLACO – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today unveiled the first phase of his “Educating Texans” policy plan in Weslaco, TX. In remarks delivered at Sam Houston Elementary School, Abbott emphasized his goal to make Texas the number one education system in the United States within 10 years. Abbott offered reforms that will elevate Texas in literacy, attain the highest high school graduation rate in the nation, improve reading and math skills, and double the number of 3rd graders at or above the satisfactory level on STARR tests, among others.

In the included remarks, Abbott discussed his vision for Texas’ education system, saying, “As Governor, I want to see the Texas education system rise to its rightful place to be number one in the nation. We...

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