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Texas Sunrise

Rural Texas Policy Updates

Over the years, The Schlueter Group has been blessed to work on many and varied issues that impact our Texas rural communities: water, healthcare, agriculture, transportation and economic development.

To that end, we decided to publish an e-newsletter entitled Texas Sunrise to bring the latest in rural policy information to those who live and breathe it. Enjoy!

Will the Pandemic Save Rural Broadband?

Rural Texans have been clamoring for high-speed internet services for years, and the requirements of a pandemic — work, schools and medicine — have raised the stakes. But a state fund that helps provide those services is in financial trouble.

A state fund used to buttress rural telecommunications and internet services could run out of money before the end of the year, even as Texans’ reliance on those services for medicine, education and commerce balloons.

Phone companies and a pack of rural state legislators are asking utility regulators to increase the tax on interstate telecommunications services that fills the Texas Universal Service Fund; a decision could come soon. But action has been delayed a couple of times this summer.

Take a look at this article from the Texas Tribune:

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Rio Grande Valley – Texas’ Red Hot Spot

By almost every metric, Hidalgo County—the most populous county in the Valley and home to McAllen, Edinburg, and Mission—is the center of the COVID-19 crisis in Texas. It’s undertested, has one of the highest per-capita case counts in the state, and is seeing a larger percentage of patients die of the disease than any urban county in Texas.

Read the Texas Monthly article full article here:

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Nonprofit Invests Millions in Texas Rural Pre-K

Waterford UPSTART, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, invested $7 million into its renowned at-home, kindergarten readiness program this summer from El Paso to Laredo. Approximately 2,500 children from 227 municipalities across Texas rural communities are participating in the Waterford UPSTART Summer Learning Path program.

This at-home early learning program will keep kids on track over the summer and aims in particular to support the students and families who have been affected by COVID-19 either through personal economic hardship or due to the indefinite closure of many Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start options.

See the full News 4 SA story here:

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Learn more about Waterford / UPSTART here:

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If you want to subscribe to Texas Sunrise please contact us at cris@schluetergroup.com

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