Economy

 Jacob Villanueva

From Bust to Boom

The recession has caused a spike in enrollment at two-year schools like Austin Community College, which now educates more than 40,000 students — within striking distance of the great behemoth, the University of Texas at Austin.

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The Last Time Around

How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.

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 Bob Daemmrich

Department of Public Stimulus

The Department of Public Safety, which is struggling financially, is planning to use $16 million of the federal stimulus dollars that Gov. Rick Perry begrudgingly accepted to plug a hole in the border security budget. The decision follows a mandate by Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus that state agencies cut 5 percent out of their budgets to meet an anticipated shortfall.

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 Jacqueline Mermea

Burned Orange

A clash over a beloved campus music club at UT-Austin portends the gnashing of teeth at schools statewide as a budgetary winter threatens to envelop higher education.

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Ticked

The worst outbreak of fever-tick infestations in South Texas in four decades has ranchers and animal-health officials scrambling to prevent not just a loss of billions to the state cattle's industry but an outright ban on our cattle.

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Their State of the State

Governors across the country have been delivering their state report cards in January — but not in Texas, where the State of the State address is only given during odd-numbered years, when the Legislature is in session. Ben Philpott, reporting on politics for KUT News and the Tribune, asked people from different sectors of the economy to offer their own outlook for Texas in 2010.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Latinos and the Pay Gap

In Texas, they earn 35 percent less than their Anglo counterparts — a disparity that's bigger here than elsewhere. Is it because of education, age, discrimination, or some combination of the above?

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 Jacob Villanueva

The Tuition Time Bomb

It costs an average of 63 percent more to attend a four-year state school today than it did in 2003 — and that's still not enough to keep pace with bulging university budgets. Some policy makers see the higher education business model on the cusp of collapse.

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