Horns Up: Texas beats California in tech production
In 2012, Texas companies shipped out more than $45 billion in technology, including semiconductors and computers, outperforming California for the for first time, according to the Dallas Morning News. Texas now leads the nation in tech exports, supporting 331,000 jobs in the state and sending most of its products to Mexico. The numbers are up by $3 billion in Texas since 2011. Texas has long promoted itself as an ideal place to build a startup or grow a business, and the numbers are beginning to reflect this trend. Horns up to Texas’ progress in the high-tech field and coming out from under Silicon Valley’s shadow.
Horns Down: Hall investigation costing time, money
Attorney’s fees for the UT System and the investigation of Regent Wallace Hall by the Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations have totaled more than $400,000, according to the Dallas Morning News. Hall was under scrutiny for micromanaging and his constant open-records requests for UT documents. The System has since re-evaluated its policies for regents requesting information from UT institutions. The investigation and the tension surrounding the requests and subsequent investigation have distracted administrators and the UT community enough, and knowing that this drama played out at the highest level of state politics and is amounting to a big waste of money only makes the embarrassing debacle worse. It’s time for everyone to refocus on the students and faculty instead of the regents’ drama.
Horns Up: Davis’ platform includes access to Pre-K
On Wednesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for increased access to full-day pre-kindergarten programs, along with an expansion of Texas’ early-childhood reading program. The proposal is a central point in her campaign’s overall push to restore $5.4 billion worth of spending cuts to public schools in 2011. Although Davis doesn’t put a price tag on the cost of her plan, funding could come from a new grant through the Texas Education Agency or by restoring funds to the Pre-K Early Start Program. And, although Abbott’s spokesperson, Avidel Huerta, has already dismissed the proposal as a “mere talking point” that will “add billions in new spending,” in a statement to the Texas Tribune, we think there is something to be said for Davis’ willingness to address the near-bankrupt state of public education in Texas.