Five stories that have North Texas talking: Cat fights in the Republican primary for Texas lieutenant governor, how demographics influence parents' views of public schools, the north-of-the-border background of Ted Cruz and more.
Challenger Dan Patrick wasn't happy with the way the incumbent Texas lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, handled the rowdy crowd at the Capitol while lawmakers tried -- and failed -- to vote on abortion restrictions. So Patrick, a state senator from Houston, pounced on the opportunity to slam his fellow Republican. His mode of choice? Cat GIFs.
Patrick's Buzzfeed-aping site, dubbed "Dewfeed," breaks down the narrative of that June night with cats playing Dewhurst, the protesters, and crestfallen pro-lifers.
Poll Shows Parents Split By Demographics On How They View Schools: More low-income and minority parents believe they have a key role in their public school kids' education than white parents, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Poll. And it’s a notable gap: 54 percent of Hispanic parents and 50 percent of black parents said they have a lot of influence. Only 34 percent of white parents said the same. The divide is even larger when it comes to attitudes on districts’ budgets. Sixty-one percent of black parents named inequality in school funding as a problem, while 32 percent of white parents said the same. Richer parents were less likely to show concern about low expectations in the classroom and bullying. [AP via NPR]
Denton Wants To Match 10,000 Mentors With At-Risk Students: One hour a week with a child, for a year. That’s what the City of Denton and Denton ISD hope 10,000 mentors will give the same number of students who may need a buddy to stay on track. The project, called Mentor Denton, put out its first ring for volunteers this morning on social media. The idea is to secure at least 1,000 mentor-child matches this year, and gather 10 times more for next year. Communities in Schools, United Way and other partners are on the team.
Texas No Stranger To Library Woes Across The Nation: Texas lost 64 percent of its state library budget in 2011. It’s a national trend that left other states’ systems dry, too, though most weren’t hit quite as hard. NPR’s Neda Ulaby heard from volunteers and library workers across the country about what could be a bleak future for public libraries in many places, if people don't start giving money along with that loving praise of their systems. [NPR]
Could 'Oh, Canada' Trip Up Cruz? After talk in recent days about Republican senator Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. The Dallas Morning News was given a copy of his birth certificate. He was indeed born in Canada in 1970 to his mom, who was a U.S. citizen. So he's a citizen of both countries unless he renounces one of them. (Which, by the way, doesn't disqualify him from this nation's top office.) Candidates for president in the past, such as John McCain, have been able to clear the air about their foreign birthplace – McCain’s dad was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, and the Democrats helped sponsor a resolution declaring him a natural-born citizen in 2008. [Dallas Morning News]