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The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization oversees transportation planning for the greater Austin region. CAMPO’s jurisdiction includes Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties. Every urban area with a population of 50,000 or greater is federally-required to have a metropolitan planning organization. As part of its federal mandate, CAMPO works with all the local governments within its jurisdiction as well as the Texas Department of Transportation to produce a 25-year long range plan for transportation in the area. As part of its duties, CAMPO also approves federal and state fund use in the region.Beginning with the adoption of its 2035 plan in 2010, CAMPO focused planning out the region’s growth around the centers concept. Rather than allowing the city to spread out, the centers concepts plots specific areas for higher density development. Under the idea, the centers would all be connected by public transportation.

AM Update: Single-Sex Schools, Controversial Highway, Texas vs. the Feds

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

It's back to work and school today but with cooler temperatures highs in the mid-90s. Here's a look at some of the big stories developing today:

AISD Looks at Single-Sex Education Options

The Austin  School Board is taking another look at single-sex middle schools this evening.

AISD Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen had wanted to create single-sex schools at Pearce and Garcia Middle Schools as soon as next school year. But the idea met resistance from some school board members and parents. If the board decides to go forward with the plan, it won’t go into effect until at least 2014-2015.

AISD is also considering a college-prep program just for young men in grades six through 12. If plans go forward, enrollment could begin next school year.

The board is meeting at 6:30 p.m. at AISD Headquarters.

Controversial Highway Up for Debate

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization or CAMPO is holding a public hearing tonight about the organization’s long-term transportation plan.

The part of the plan that has gotten the most feedback is State Highway 45 Southwest. The highway would provide a route from South MoPac to FM 1626. But critics say it poses a big environmental problem because it goes over the Edwards Aquifer.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium on the UT-Austin campus.

The Cost of Suing the Federal Government

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office has spent more than 14,000 staff hours and $2.6 million on litigation against the federal government, reports the Associated Press.

Abbott’s office has filed 24 lawsuits against the United States government during the Obama administration. 

Abbott’s office has both won and lost a number of high-profile cases in the past year. Last month, federal courts handed down decisions on three high-profile cases filed by the Texas attorney general’s office. Federal judges found that the state's voter ID law and most recent redistricting maps were in violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Also in August, a federal appeals court ruled that Texas could exclude Planned Parenthood from the state Women’s Health Program.

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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