Zwiener tackles standardized testing, nature-based infrastructure bills

Staff Report

District 45 Rep. Erin Zwiener laid out House Bill 2344 and House Bill 2350 before the House Public Education Committee and House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday.

HB 2344 would allow school districts to implement a writing portfolio in order to fulfill the writing component of required state reading assessments. Standardized writing assessments grade students based on a formula; teaching this formula often leads students to become less creative. Portfolios would grade students on their body of work while also providing a more in-depth reflection of their skills.

HB 2350 would encourage more nature-based
infrastructure projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Communities seeking loans for wastewater system upgrades can access extra funds for projects such as rain gardens, wetlands and other projects that create permeable surfaces, allowing rainwater to percolate into aquifers rather than running off surfaces. While nature-based infrastructure can help reduce the impact of flooding and increase groundwater supply, it has not been widely adopted throughout the state.

“Nature-based infrastructure is a powerful tool for mitigating flooding and also provides additional benefits such as aquifer recharge, outdoor space, and reducing heat islands,” Zwiener said. “HB 2350 will let municipalities use a bottom-up approach to develop locally directed projects to fit
their community’s needs.”

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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