Spotlighting claims by Julián Castro, David Dewhurst and Wendy Davis
What precisely happened when the 2011 Texas Legislature was in session?
Several of our recent fact checks pivot from partly accurate recaps about what legislators did during the five-month regular session.
--We rated Half True a claim by San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro that Gov. Rick Perry cut $4 billion out of public schools -- and that’s 12,000 teachers left without a job. Perry supported changes in school finance formulas resulting in schools getting $4 billion less than they would have gotten if the formulas remained unchanged. And while Castro drew his jobless teacher count from an outdated projection for a different figure, school districts still cut nearly 11,000 teaching positions in the first year of the state aid reduction. Some teachers in those positions retired and that there is no clear-cut count of teachers left unemployed, but it seems reasonable to speculate a good share of the position cuts left teachers without jobs.
--We rated Half True a claim by David Dewhurst, the state’s Republican lieutenant governor, that he "passed" measures intended to bar groping by airport security officials and "sanctuary" cities. At different times in 2011, such proposals cleared the Senate, over which Dewhurst presides. But unlike six other proposals Dewhurst included in his statement, neither made it into law.
--We also rated Half True a statement by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, that because of lawmakers’ actions, "hundreds of thousands of women no longer have access to basic medical care, life-saving cancer screenings and contraception." That fits with a projected reduction in such state-supported services, but it’s unclear how many women will lose access entirely. At the time Davis spoke, the reduction in state-supported services was believed to have affected 83,000 women.
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