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8.5% is the arbitrary benchmark rate set by the Texas Education Agency for the number of Special Education Students in a school district that may receive Special Education.  Even children with severe disabilities, including deafness and blindness, can't always get special education. 

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It's Time to Hold Greenwashers Accountable

Every day more and more companies are stepping up to do more for the environment. Amongst rising concerns of climate change, water conservation, and a desire to preserve our natural resources, consumers are looking for eco-friendly options when purchasing goods and services. Waste-reducing measures like paperless payroll or buy back programs from cell phone companies help businesses save money and improve public image. But not all companies take their commitment to conservation as seriously as others. While some companies walk the walk, others only talk the talk.

Staff Profile: Khris Schneider, Organizer Extraordinaire!

Texans Together is blessed to have an amazing staff of dedicated professionals who work to make Houston better every single day. One of our hard working organizers is Khris Schneider, who recently joined our staff after interning for Texans Together in his Spring semester at U of H earlier this year. Learning how to build a civic project from the ground up, Khris helped to organize a group of volunteers to attend the Save Texas Schools rally in Austin. At the capitol, Khris and others honed lobbying skills, meeting with legislators and their staff to discuss education policy, medicaid expansion, and other issues important to the Lone Star State.

Purvis: A New York ‘Thanks’ that’s as big as Texas

(This is an opinion piece by professor Jim Purvis who teaches at New York University. It was published in Austin American Statesman.)


On behalf of my fellow New Yorkers, I like to say “thank you” to the people of the great state of Texas.

For so many things … but above all, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for sacrificing your own poor people so that our poor people could have free health insurance.

Two million. That’s the number of your own poor who lost their chance for free health care, thanks to your generosity. Wow! Two million. It’s hard to believe, but that will just about equal the Medicaid-covered poor in New York and Connecticut. So, thanks from Connecticut as well.

What is Texas missing by not expanding Medicaid?

Texas ranks first in America in number of uninsured citizens. One in four Texans lacks the coverage that they need to have access to quality, affordable health care. But despite this, our leaders in Austin decided not to expand access to Medicaid after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. That means up to one million Texas’ most vulnerable citizens--many of them children-- will be left out in the cold.

Election Day is Almost Here

Tomorrow is Election Day in Texas! Polls are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and your vote matters. Elections for Mayor, Controller, and City Council will be held for the City of Houston along with Trustee positions for H.I.S.D., Houston Community College, and other local school districts. Additionally, several important ballot propositions will be decided, including a plan for our State’s future water needs, a new criminal justice center for Harris County, and the fate of the Astrodome.

In order to make sure your voice is heard this election, make a plan to vote.

Texans Together: Engaging the Disengaged

A new study has put Texas dead last for voter turnout.  Between the fifty states and the District of Columbia, we rank 51st in the number of citizens who show up to have their voice heard on Election Day.  And the bad news doesn’t end there.  When the study looked at other metrics of civic engagement, The Lone Star State was at the bottom of nearly every list:  42nd in voter registration, 49th in the number of citizens who contact public officials, and 44th in the number of people who discuss politics a few times a week or more.

As partisanship and gridlock become everyday realities on cable news, it’s almost trendy for people to declare themselves “not into politics”, and more and more it seems that all politicians are the same.  But what happens when the public throws up its proverbial hands and stays home on Election Day?  “By not being civically engaged, too many Texans are ceding control over the direction of our state to an active few,” according to Regina Lawrence, the director of  the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin, which conducted the study.

Our mission at Texans Together is to engage and empower traditionally disengaged and disenfranchised communities.  And with your help, we’ll keep doing just that.

Exciting News for Empowering Houston Leaders

Here at Texans Together, we strive to empower traditionally disengaged and disenfranchised communities.  One of our most successful programs is our Empower Houston Leaders class.  Over the six week course students learn powerful organizing skills to make positive changes in their communities.  By identifying leaders and giving them the tools they need for direct action organizing, Texans Together is helping change the face of Harris County.

Is the San Jacinto River Waste Pit Still Leaking?

In 1964 two waste pits were constructed along the San Jacinto River. Over the next decade, these pits were filled with hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals from nearby Champion Paper Company.  PCBs, Mercury, and highly carcinogenic Dioxins (including Agent Orange) were buried on the 14 acre site.  Some chemicals are so toxic they are measured in the trillionth of a gram, and have no safe exposure levels.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Get Addicted to Health Coverage


With Apologies to Robert Palmer

Health coverage, our congressmen warn us, is like “crack cocaine.”  Health coverage disease (HC) is a growing addiction problem today, comparable to alcoholism or heroin. With the opening of the insurance exchanges October 1, millions of Americans now have access to this addictive scourge. Public health officials are alarmed that many Americans will become hooked on HC and that they will never recover.  


Mental Health and The Affordable Care Act

Broken bones.  The flu.  Annual check ups.  When we talk about health care in America, these are the types of things that come to mind. But there’s one area that often gets overlooked: mental health.  This week America observes Mental Illness Awareness Week, so we thought we’d share some of ObamaCare’s most exciting benefits for mental health.


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Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296



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by Dr. Radut