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AM Update: STAAR Retesting Begins, Legislators Look at Funding, Durant to Olympics

Brian Mahoney, Associated Press
Kevin Durant, right, is nominated to play for Team USA in the 2012 Olympics in London.

STAAR Retesting Begins Today

Students across Texas who didn’t pass subjects of the STAAR exam will begin retaking the tests today.

Last year’s ninth-graders were the only students who had to pass the tests to graduate on time as seniors. Next year, the passing requirement will affect both ninth and tenth-graders. The STAAR test will continue to phase-in to each grade, eventually completely replacing the TAKS test.

Also starting next year, the STAAR exam will make up 15 percent of a high school student’s final grade in a subject.

Retakes are scheduled through Friday.

The retakes and the summer classes to prepare students for the retakes areleaving schools with hefty bills, as districts have to hire teachers to conduct these classes.

New Topics for State Lawmakers Back from Break

State lawmakers are getting back to work at the capitol after a more than week-long break from meetings.

Members of the House Transportation and Appropriations Committees are joining together to talk about transportation funding reforms. They want to develop long-term recommendations for funding Texas highways.

Senators with the Finance Committee are taking a look at changes in the state’s prison health care system. They want to find out how to give prisoners adequate health care while also saving money.

Durant to Play Ball in Olympics?

Former Longhorn Kevin Durant could soon become the fourth Men’s Basketball player in UT history to compete in the Olympics. The final roster is awaiting approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Durant is one of 12 nominees on the roster and could become the first Longhorn since Jay Arnette in 1960 to play for Team USA. Albert Almanza competed in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics for Team Mexico.

Other names on the 2012 team include Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

Preliminary rounds of pool play for the U.S. will begin July 29 against France. The Medal games are scheduled for August 12.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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