Kenric Ward - Watchdog.org
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Kenric Ward is the San Antonio-based reporter for Watchdog.org. A California native and veteran journalist who has worked on three Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers, he received a BA from UCLA (Political Science/Phi Beta Kappa) and holds an MBA. He reported and edited at the San Jose Mercury News and the Las Vegas Sun before joining Watchdog.org in 2012 and previously reported from Virginia. Kenric can be reached at [email protected]

Size matters: Texas penalizes smaller school districts

By   /  January 18, 2017  /  Education, Education Blog, Legislature, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Port Aransas ISD photo

Texas last year slapped a $244.7 million penalty on districts that had fewer than 1,600 students and spanned less than 300 square miles. In all, 467 independent school districts were penalized because they failed to consolidate into larger systems.

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Will A-F school ratings make the grade in Texas?

By   /  January 17, 2017  /  Accountability, Education, Legislature, News, State Government, Texas  /  No Comments

Justice Foundation photo

A new “A-F” grading system that rates Texas’ public schools is getting mixed reviews from education activists, with one skeptic likening it to putting lipstick on a pig.

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Arlington scores best financials among Texas cities

By   /  January 12, 2017  /  Budget and Spending, News, Pensions, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Chart for Watchdog.org by Katherine Oxenreiter

Unlike other big Texas cities that are swimming in debt, Arlington has cash on hand to cover its public pension liabilities. The self-proclaimed “American Dream City” ranks No. 7 nationally for its financial health, according to a report by the nonpartisan Truth in Accounting.

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Public pensions out of control in Texas’ biggest cities

By   /  January 10, 2017  /  Legislature, News, Pensions, Taxes, Texas  /  No Comments

Associated Press photo

Local control — the favored mantra of big-city politicians in Texas — isn’t working out so well with public-employee pensions. Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, carrying $22.6 billion in unfunded liability, rank among the 12 worst cities in the country.

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Texas congressman boosts Trump deportation plan

By   /  January 9, 2017  /  Criminal Justice, Federal Government, Immigration, National, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Norwich Police Department photo

Doubling down on President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to deport “bad hombres,” a Texas congressman wants to punish countries that refuse to re-admit them.

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Texas governor pledges to sign anti-sanctuary bill

By   /  January 5, 2017  /  Criminal Justice, Federal government, Immigration, National, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Photo by Kenric Ward

Weighing into the intensifying national immigration debate, the Republican governor pledged to sign Senate Bill 4, which would require municipalities to enforce immigration detainers at local jails and withhold state grants for noncompliance.

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