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School Finance, Vaccine Exemptions, and Pets: Monday’s Show (May 16, 2016)

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court declared the state’s school finance system is constitutional. The ruling ends more than four years of legal battles in the state’s largest-ever school finance case, in which more than 600 school districts sued the state arguing funding was unfairly distributed between rich and poor districts. A district judge agreed. […]

School Bus Education Illustration - MHagertyOn Friday, the Texas Supreme Court declared the state’s school finance system is constitutional. The ruling ends more than four years of legal battles in the state’s largest-ever school finance case, in which more than 600 school districts sued the state arguing funding was unfairly distributed between rich and poor districts. A district judge agreed. The Texas Supreme Court did not.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss what the Texas Supreme Court ruled — and the reaction from both the state and the districts — with News 88.7 FM education reporter Laura Isensee.

Also this hour…

Vaccine Exemptions Increase

According to the Houston-based Immunization Partnership, which advocates for parents to vaccinate their children, the number of non-medical vaccine exemptions filed in Harris County has increased 79 percent over the past five years. Nearly one-third of Texans ages 19 to 35 months did not complete the vaccination series to protect them from preventable diseases like measles and pertussis (whooping cough). More than 5,000 students in Harris County had an exemption on file last school year. We discuss why and learn about the implications — not just for those who don’t get vaccinated, but for other children who, for medical reasons, are not able to be vaccinated, leaving them vulnerable to outbreaks. Edel Howlin talks with State Rep. Garnet Coleman about his concerns. Then, we talk with Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.

Revisiting Flooded Home

News 88.7’s Al Ortiz visits with Spring resident Ellen Angel, whose home in the Westador subdivision sustained damage during recent flooding.

Pet Care Questions Answered

Once again, Houston Matters goes to the dogs…and cats. Veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller from the Meyerland Animal Clinic joins us to field your questions about the care and feeding of your beloved canine or feline companions.

Houston Astros Seek to Overcome Bad Start

The Houston Astros got off to an atrocious start this season, with a 7-17 record in the month of April. Halfway through May, however, the ‘Stros have showed signs of life, with an 8-7 record. The club is still nine games under .500, and 7.5 games out in the American League West, but there may be hope that the club can climb back into contention. We talk with MLB.com Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart about the Astros’ season thus far, and the challenge inherent in overcoming such a dreadful start.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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