Texas Schools Sue State, Saying Funding Is Unfair: Roundup

DALLAS, TX – A coalition of more than 150 school districts has sued the state of Texas over a school funding system they say is unfair, inefficient and unconstitutional.

The coalition represents more than one in 10 Texas districts. Its lawsuit comes after lawmakers slashed $4 billion in public school funding this summer to close a massive budget gap.

The Texas Education Agency and Texas comptroller are among the defendants named in the lawsuit. Republican presidential candidate and Gov. Rick Perry is not.

Texas Education Agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe says the agency is still reviewing the lawsuit filed Monday.

The lawsuit says a 2006 school finance overhaul that froze state aid to some districts arbitrarily benefitted some rather than others.

North Texas In The Future

A non-profit group called Vision North Texas is offering county governments, regional and city planners a new «gamebook» to help manage North Texas population growth.

Karen Walz, with the group, says 9 million people will live in North Texas in 20 years; 12 million by 2050. She told Dallas County Commissioners it can’t be «business as usual» anymore.

Walz: We will have smaller households. We will have more seniors. We will have a more diverse community. We will have a larger share of people who want or need to live near transit.

Walz says transit oriented development, high density residential and commercial developments, plus revitalization of existing neighborhoods will be critical. Parks and green space will also be important. She says by 2030, the amount of North Texas that’s «paved over» will double.

Vision North Texas holds a summit to release its «gamebook» and some new North Texas data at UTA October 28th.

State Warns Of Medicaid Scam

State Health officials are warning of a Medicaid Scam. Officials say someone is calling Medicaid recipients, trying to sell them a replacement card for 50 dollars, and asking for bank account information.

The state recently replaced the paper Medicaid ID’s that clients received in the mail monthly. Now, they’re issued a plastic «Your Texas Benefits» Medicaid cards. They look much like the typical insurance card. If lost, the client can call the state for a FREE replacement.

Health and Human Services officials say Medicaid clients should never PAY for a card and state officials never ask for a bank account number.

Romney asks Perry to disavow pastor; Perry says no

Mitt Romney is calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to disavow comments from an evangelical pastor who says Romney isn’t a Christian and that Mormons belong to a cult. But Perry is refusing to do so.

The Perry campaign says the Texas governor disagrees with the pastor, Robert Jeffress of Dallas, who endorsed Perry’s presidential bid and introduced him ahead of a speech to cultural conservatives in Washington.

Jeffress contrasted Perry’s religion with Romney’s, and in comments to reporters called Mormonism «a cult» and said Romney is «not a Christian.»

Romney calls that kind of language divisive and wants Perry to, in Romney’s words, «repudiate the sentiment and the remarks.»

A spokesman for Perry says Romney’s comments are political rhetoric that won’t create one new job.

Accident at TI facility in Richardson kills worker

An industrial accident at a Texas Instruments chip fabrication unit in the Dallas area has left a worker dead.

Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich on Tuesday identified the victim as 54-year-old Roy Aguilar of Dallas.

Perlich says firefighters Monday responded to a report of a water purifier explosion at a TI unit in Richardson. Police say the victim was impaled by some type of glass.

A spokeswoman with Dallas-based TI said Tuesday that the company had limited information on the accident at its chip-making facility. Whitney Jodry that the incident remains under investigation.