AM Update: Texas Can Deny Funding to Planned Parenthood, Group Joins School Funding Suit, ACT Scores

Aug 22, 2012

Planned Parenthood

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Texas can stop funding Planned Parenthood under the state’s Women’s Health Program – at least until a full trial in October.

Planned Parenthood had obtained an injunction that prevented the state from cutting off funding before the trial. But the three-judge panel lifted the injunction.

After the ruling, Governor Rick Perry released a statement that said, in part:

“The 5th Circuit’s decision is a win for Texas women, our rule of law and our state’s priority to protect life. We will continue to work with Attorney General Abbott in the fight to defend our state laws.”

In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a law that bans funding abortion providers. Last year, the legislature reauthorized that law. It also bans funding clinics affiliated with abortion providers – like Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is suing to stop the ban and says it would deny health care to low-income, uninsured women.

Planned Parenthood also issued a statement after the ruling. It reads, in part:

“It is shocking that once again it appears that politics is getting in the way of women receiving access to basic health care… For more than 75 years, women and families in Texas have trusted Planned Parenthood for high-quality, affordable health care and information. We won't let politics interfere with the health care that 52,000 women and families across Texas rely on Planned Parenthood to stay healthy."

School Funding Lawsuit

A group associated with charter schools will be allowed to join five other lawsuits challenging the way Texas funds public schools.

A District judge ruled Tuesday that the lawsuit by Texans for Real Efficiency and Equality in Education will be heard during the larger school finance trial in October.

The charter school complaint says that the way Texas distributes funding is inefficient. The group also wants Texas to lift the cap on the number of charter schools across the state.

ACT Scores

The Texas Education Agency says more students across the state took the ACT college admissions test last year than in any previous year. More than 110 thousand Texas high school seniors took the test. The number of Hispanic students taking the ACT has doubled in the past five years.

The average score in Texas was 20.8 of a possible 36. That’s the same as Texas students did on average last year but it’s a little lower than the national average of 21.1.

Texas students scored slightly higher than the national average on the Math portion of the test – but fell behind in English, Reading and Science.