Hurricane Harvey-affected campuses receive special evaluations

State Capitol Highlights



Some 109 independent school districts and charters directly affected by Hurricane Harvey are eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system, the Texas Education Agency announced on Aug. 1.

Based on data reported to the agency during the past school year, the affected districts and charters encompass some 1,188 eligible campuses.

Among the submitted data are the numbers of displaced students and teachers and the impact on local school facilities and instructional time.

Hurricane Harvey criteria announced in June represents a change to storm-related accountability adjustments when compared to prior storms in Texas due to the extraordinary magnitude and unique impact of the storm. The adjustments provide the necessary reprieve from accountability while also ensuring that student outcomes continue to be the focus in Texas, the TEA said.

Gallego, Flores to face off

Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego of San Antonio and retired game warden Pete Flores of Pleasanton will face each other in a runoff for Senate District 19. A date for the runoff had not been set as of press time.

Gallego, a Democrat, beat state Rep. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio for the right to face Flores, who easily outdistanced two other Republicans in the SD-19 special election on July 31.

Gallego, a lawyer, was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1990. He served 11 consecutive terms in the House until he was elected to Congress in 2012. He served one two-year term in Congress and in 2014 lost to Republican challenger Will Hurd, a Helotes lawyer, who is now running for his third straight two-year term as the representative for Texas Congressional District 23.

The winner of the Gallego Flores runoff will fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, who resigned from office after he was convicted by a federal district court on 11 felony counts of fraud. Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Miller stops spraying

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller on July 30 shut down a cattle fever tick spray box operation at a South Texas ranch.

The spray boxes apply a high-powered insecticide to combat ticks that may infect livestock with deadly Texas cattle fever. Miller said lack of ventilation in the confined spray box violates federally approved label requirements for the insecticide and that licensed applicators were not present at the inspection, as required by state and federal law.

The Cattle-Fever Tick Eradication Program is managed by the USDA and the Texas Animal Health Commission. The use of pesticides is regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture, over which Miller presides.

The goal of the program is to limit the cattle fever tick to the eightcounty quarantine zone along the border with Mexico, and ultimately to eradicate the pest from Texas entirely.

ED STERLING is the Director of Members Services at Texas Press Asscociation.

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