David Montgomery

David Montgomery

David Montgomery is a Stateline correspondent based in Austin, Texas, where he covers state government and politics.

Women speaking about abortion.

Lawsuit over Texas abortion ban could be a model in other states

By: - August 1, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage on how states are either protecting or curbing access to abortions. AUSTIN, Texas — A lawsuit in Texas asserting that the state’s abortion ban imperils women by dissuading doctors from ending dangerous pregnancies could provide a template for similar challenges across the country. Texas is one of 14 states that banned abortion after […]

Uvalde Elementary students return.

New Texas law allowing chaplains in public schools could be a model for other states

By: - June 21, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — A new law authorizing chaplains to provide counseling to students is propelling Texas to the forefront of a national push to inject religious expression into public schools. The state’s Republican-led legislature approved the bill as part of a broader effort to expand the role of religion in education. The Texas Senate approved, but the House defeated, other […]

A teacher waves to her students as they get off the bus at an elementary school in Louisville, Ky., as they return to school following a COVID-19 outbreak in January 2022.

4-day school weeks, gaining in popularity, face pushback from lawmakers

By: - May 2, 2023

MINERAL WELLS, Texas — Desperate to fill open positions amid a statewide teacher shortage, school officials in this rural North Texas city of about 15,000 chose to follow the lead of neighboring districts by converting to a four-day school week at the start of the current student year. “We decided if we can’t beat them, […]

Universities Grapple With Diversity Policies After GOP Crackdown

By: - March 30, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — In July 2020, the president of Texas A&M University appointed a 45-member commission to examine the progress of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the nearly 70,000-student flagship campus in College Station. The panel’s report, released in January 2021, found both strengths and weaknesses in the school’s approach. But overall, said the […]

Texas Town Tries a New Model for Saving Rural Health Care

By: - February 17, 2023

BOWIE, Texas — After sitting empty and exposed to thieves and vandals for more than two years, the one-story hospital that served Bowie for more than five decades is close to making a comeback — of sorts. Reflecting the struggles facing hospitals throughout rural America, Bowie Memorial Hospital has closed twice since 2015, the first […]

The Push to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Continues, Town by Town

By: - November 2, 2022

KILLEEN, Texas — As he plied the streets of Killeen in his silver Volvo SUV on a recent Sunday, Louie Minor recalled his time as a deputy constable whose duties included arresting marijuana users.   Minor, a 43-year-old Iraq war veteran, wanted to reach as many voters as possible in a mission that might have seemed […]

Governors Split on Biden’s Call to Pardon Low-Level Pot Offenders

By: - October 28, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — When President Joe Biden earlier this month granted blanket pardons to more than 6,500 Americans convicted of marijuana possession under federal law, he urged governors to pardon the much greater number of low-level marijuana offenders in their states. But the response from governors has been mixed. Some Democratic governors are taking steps toward […]

Prison Staff Shortages Take Toll on Guards, Incarcerated People

By: - September 26, 2022

HOUSTON — The pay is rising — but so are average temperatures, and because many of the workplaces are not air-conditioned, toiling for this employer often means broiling in the Texas heat. The job is stable and recession-proof but also potentially dangerous, with an ever-present threat of violence. There are drawbacks to being a prison […]

Searing Heat Spotlights West’s Long-Term Water Woes

By: - August 1, 2022

HAYS COUNTY, Texas — Located near the resort community of Wimberly, just 45 miles southwest of Austin, Jacob’s Well has earned a near-legendary reputation as one of the most popular swimming holes in the Central Texas Hill Country. Hundreds come to the artesian spring each summer to dip into blue-green waters that flow from an […]

In Texas, Where Abortion Rights Began, GOP Builds New Barriers

By: - June 3, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage on how states are either protecting or curbing access to abortions. AUSTIN, Texas — Linda Coffee was in her mid-20s and barely out of law school when she and former classmate Sarah Weddington stunned the legal establishment—and much of America—by successfully arguing Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion […]

GOP Targets Tenure to Curb Classroom Discussions of Race, Gender

By: - March 14, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — When he blew the whistle on a university dean suspected of financial malfeasance, college professor Jeff Blodgett had to weather a fierce attack from the dean’s allies. “If I didn’t have tenure,” he recalled, “they would have done their best to get rid of me.” Blodgett, who has taught at four universities […]

Librarians Decry GOP Moves to Ban Books in Schools

By: - January 13, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — Outraged at the parents and politicians who are trying to rid school libraries of books they denounce as inappropriate or even pornographic, a band of Texas school librarians is fighting back.  Shortly after Texas state Rep. Matt Krause called for the state’s school libraries to review a list of 850 books for […]