The Week in the Rearview Mirror

The family of Sandra Bland — the woman who died last year in a Waller County Jail cell — has reached a settlement with Texas officials in a wrongful death lawsuit, a lawyer for the family said Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is stepping up his efforts to protect the GOP majority in the upper chamber, teaming up with colleague John Cornyn to raise money for a half dozen vulnerable incumbents.

Paying off most of the debt Texas has racked up building toll roads would cost about $36.7 billion, a final report from the Texas Department of Transportation revealed, a tall order for state lawmakers who would like to wean the state off tolled highways.

At a marathon hearing of the Senate Education Committee Wednesday, GOP senators debated how, not whether, to give Texas families taxpayer money to pay for private, religious or home schools.

A member of the Texas Ethics Commission is rejecting what he says was an effort by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to get him to resign. Hugh Akin, whose term on the commission does not expire until next year, says he received a call late last week from top Patrick staffers asking him to immediately step down.

One Texas official, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, has taken his frustration over athletes who choose to sit or take a knee during the national anthem to a new level — boycotting the NFL.

Rice University, SMU, Baylor University and Dallas Baptist University all climbed in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings this year. All of the state's top public universities fell.

Disclosure: Rice University and Southern Methodist University have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.