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PNS Daily News - February 22, 2017 


We’re covering stories from across the nation including: new immigration policies released by the Trump administration; Obama’s transgender student bathroom rules could be reversed; and some senators weigh-in on the U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Daily Newscasts

Public News Service - TX: Early Childhood Education

Children’s advocates say all-day pre-kindergarten programs give Texas children a significant advantage when they begin school. (Children's Defense Fund-Texas)

AUSTIN, Texas – Children's advocates are aiming to convince the Texas Legislature to fund all-day pre-kindergarten classes in the 2018-2019 budget and beyond. The Children's Defense Fund-Texas and others hold a roundtable discussion in Austin Friday, to share reasons to permanently fund what

Legislation currently under debate in Congress could force schools to reapply in order to participate in free meal programs. (USDA)

AUSTIN, Texas - Congress is considering legislation that would change a program that currently allows schools in high-poverty areas to offer free meals to all students. A bill in the House would tighten the rules for schools to qualify. Advocates say changes would affect the Community Eligibility pr

The Texas Attorney General has formed a new unit to assist law-enforcement agencies with human-trafficking crimes. (southernfried/morguefile)

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas is putting some legal muscle behind current efforts to combat human trafficking in the state. The Texas Attorney General's office has formed a new unit tasked with reducing both labor and sex trafficking and prosecuting the perpetrators. Attorney General Ken Paxton says the

New research indicates such distractions as mobile phone use that interrupt a parent's care and bonding time with infants, may impair a child's brain development. (ATA/Wikimedia Commons)

AUSTIN, Texas - Parents, put down your smartphones when you're taking care of your baby. That's the message from University of California researchers, who found that fragmented care can disrupt a young child's brain development and lead to emotional disorders later in life. When moms and dads are b

The Houston ISD will vote on a proposal Thursday to ban suspensions for its youngest students. Credit: eropdfklcvnm/Wikimedia Commons

AUSTIN, Texas - The Houston Independent School District on Thursday will consider a proposal to ban suspensions for its youngest students. According to a new report by the advocacy group Texas Appleseed, thousands of the state's children - many in pre-kindergarten - are suspended and labeled "prob

One in six Texas households struggled to avoid hunger in 2014 despite a fully recovered economy, according to new report. Credit: Andrejs Zemdega.

AUSTIN, Texas - One-point-seven million Texas households experienced hunger or engaged in coping mechanisms to avoid it at some point last year. That's more than any other state except California, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Celia Cole, CEO with Feeding Tex

PHOTO: The Texas House of Representatives has passed HB 31 and HB 32, which call for nearly $5 billion in sales and business tax cuts. The bills' sponsors say the measures will save a family of four $172 a year. Critics argue the state needs to invest surpluses in children and infrastructure. Photo credit: Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas House passed nearly $5 billion in sales and business tax cuts earlier this week. Proponents say the move will boost the economy and put an additional $172 into a family of four's pockets. Critics warn tax cuts mean reduced funding for public schools, health care and social

PHOTO: The preterm birth rate in Texas continues to trend down, with seven straight years of declines to reach 12.3 percent as of 2013. Photo credit: César Rincón/Flickr.<br />

HOUSTON - The latest figures show the preterm birth rate in Texas continues to fall, but the progress is slow and that could hamper goals nationwide for healthier babies. As of last year, the U.S. premature birth rate had fallen to 11.4 percent. In Texas the rate was nearly a percent higher, says Dr

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