1:07 PM Apr 6, 2021 CDT

TEA Student Assessment Division calls STAAR Online Testing Platform connectivity issues 'completely unacceptable'

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I.


New order from Gov. Greg Abbott bans government-mandated 'vaccine passports' in Texas

"Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives," Abbott said.


Officials: No grace period to follow end of statewide waiver for vehicle title, registration requirements

Officials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced April 5 there will be no grace period following the end of the temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements this month.



Texas Senate passes bill mandating changes to state energy market in wake of winter storm

The bill includes mandates for power generators to weatherize their facilities or face fines of up to $1 million.


Department of State Health Services launches Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler

The new tool will give Texans one place to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine through multiple health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions—which provides public health services to nearly 200 Texas counties—as well as more than a dozen local health entities statewide.


Deadline to register to vote in May 1 election approaches for Dallas-Fort Worth area

Texas residents planning to cast votes in the May 1 election have until April 1 to register to vote.


H-E-B bringing grocery stores to Frisco, Plano in first foray into northern Dallas suburbs

The popular grocery chain H-E-B on March 26 announced its plans to expand into the North Texas suburbs following years of speculation as the company acquired properties in the area.



Texas to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults March 29

High-risk individuals may still be prioritized for doses.


CDC loosens guidelines on social distancing in schools

The updated guidance recommends students maintain 3 feet of social distancing in classrooms while wearing masks.


Texas vaccine rollout: After 90 days, over 2.9 million fully inoculated

That figure represents about 13% of Texans over age 16—roughly one of every seven.


Public Utility Commission of Texas names new director of ERCOT accountability

Three weeks after the the state's power grid failed leaving millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures, the Public Utility Commission of Texas named Adrianne Brandt as the agency's new director of ERCOT accountability in a news release March 11.



Proposed curriculum, funding changes: 14 public education bills filed in the 87th Texas Legislature

Hundreds of bills related to public education have been filed in the 87th Texas Legislature, from curriculum requirement additions to funding formula changes.


Minimum teacher compensation bill filed in Texas Legislature

House Bill 3580 would establish a minimum teacher salary of $70,000 annually and would account for an inflation adjustment and increase.


Texas residents age 50 and older eligible for vaccinations beginning March 15

The Texas Department of State Health Services said it is continuing its strategy of getting the vaccine to residents most at risk of death. As of March 10, 93% of all COVID-19 deaths in Texas have been individuals age 50 and older.


SURVEY: More than 70% of Texas restaurants still requiring employees to wear masks despite statewide mandate lift

The majority of Texas restaurant owners will choose to continue requiring staff to wear face masks after March 10 when Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide mask mandate lifts, according to the results of an informal survey conducted by the Texas Restaurant Association in early March.



Q&A: Virologist discusses COVID-19 response and rollback of state restrictions

Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist with the Texas A&M University System, spoke about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas ahead of the March 10 rollback of mask and capacity rules.


EXPLAINED: See how the 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in the US stack up

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—both two-shot vaccines—have higher efficacy rates for preventing illness than the single-shot Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine; the vaccine efficacy rates stand at 95%, 94.1% and 66.3%, respectively.


ERCOT board developing new emergency response measures, managing financial fallout from winter storm

An emergency meeting of an ERCOT advisory committee made up of independent advisers was convened March 5 after the resignations of several board and of ERCOT CEO Bill Magness. 


Q&A: Texas doctor discusses first 3 months of vaccine distribution process

Texas is in its 12th week of statewide vaccine distribution, and an expansion of eligibility for vaccination could come later this spring.



Texas leaders ensure financial stability for public school districts through spring semester with hold-harmless extension

The guarantee also ensures that Texas school systems can retain their teachers for the 2020-21 school year for whom they originally budgeted.


Texas offers COVID-19 vaccinations to school, child care workers

Educators, school staff and child care professionals are qualified to receive coronavirus vaccines effective immediately.


Updated Texas Education Agency guidance allows individual school boards to determine mask policies

"Under this updated guidance, a public school system's current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy," the release reads.


Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.