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Texas News
UISD’s Gonzalez honored by LULAC with Orgullo Latin Legacy Award
United Independent School District Superintendent David H. Gonzalez was recognized Thursday, April 6 by the Webb County LULAC Council #22387 with the 2023 Orgullo Latin Legacy Award.

The OLLA honors citizens for their contributions to their community, especially those impacting the lives of children and families.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Webb County LULAC Council, an organization that truly advocates for our Hispanic community,” Gonzalez said. “I will continue to work for United ISD and its amazing students. My goal is for every student to have the opportunity to grow and obtain all the tools necessary to succeed.”

Texas Child Mental Health Consortium might receive a huge bump in funding by state lawmakers
The Consortium, which works on expanding access to child mental health resources, is a solution some think could become a model for other states nationwide.

Texas lawmakers are considering a $280 million funding proposal to the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium — more than double the investment over the last two fiscal years.

The Consortium, a partnership of 12 medical schools that pool resources and expertise to provide mental health care for K-12 students, is seen as the strongest set of solutions to tackle the uptick in child mental health problems.

Legislature school choice fight stirs bitter memories of 1998 Edgewood ISD experiment
While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has touted the concept of school choice for months, amid his re-election campaign in 2022 and in stumps throughout the state this year, his mandate to the Legislature to make the policy law appears to be on shaky ground.

Last week, the Senate voted mostly along party lines to approve a sweeping bill that would allow parents to spend public dollars on private school tuition. The move was at odds, though, with a budget amendment passed in the House hours earlier that would ban such policies, setting up a showdown between the two GOP-majority chambers. 

The Sophomore Who Got Dallas to Pay Attention to Street Safety Near Adamson High
After a paint job eliminated crosswalks near the Oak Cliff high school, a student with urban planning ambitions got to work.

Abraham Moreno didn’t need to almost get hit by a car to motivate him to advocate for safer streets near Adamson High. But it certainly didn’t hurt the sophomore’s argument.

Last year, a city contractor mistakenly striped a one-way road near the Oak Cliff school that made 9th Street appear to drivers as if it was open for two-way traffic. The city returned to correct the error—but also painted over the crosswalks that students use multiple times each day.

TASB Legislative Report – April 11-12, 2023
House to debate property tax proposal

The Texas House on Thursday will consider House Bill 2 (Meyer), which seeks to provide $17 billion in property tax relief for the 2023-24 school year by compressing district tax rates by 15 cents. The bill would also lower the amount a homeowner’s property appraisal could increase in a year from 10% to 5% while including the same appraisal cap for business owners. The House plans to convene at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

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National News
Education data breaches hit record high in 2021
Since 2005, schools and colleges in the U.S. have incurred 2,691 data breaches, leading to leaks of at least 32 million individual records, according to an April report by Comparitech, a website that reviews and analyzes products improving cybersecurity and online privacy. 

To date, 2021 has marked the biggest year for data breaches in education, impacting 771 institutions and nearly 2.6 million records, Comparitech said. The Illuminate Education data breach affecting at least 605 institutions made up a significant portion of the share. 

Recruitment, retention strategies both crucial to improving teacher diversity
The lack of representation for teachers of color in the classroom is due to both recruitment and retention issues, said Tequilla Brownie, CEO of TNTP, a nonprofit alternative teacher preparation program. Brownie spoke on a virtual panel on Tuesday held by FutureEd and TNTP discussing the strategies to increase educator diversity.

Teaching should be approached as a workforce issue over solely treating the job as “a calling,” Brownie said. “Looking at this as a true job from a workforce perspective, that’s how you unlock other dollars through apprenticeship, through Department of Labor. Instead of just K-12 on its own, by itself, trying to tackle this problem.”

Beyond the Big Yellow Bus
Can transportation apps reinvent how students get to school?

Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all way to educate students, perhaps there’s no one-size-fits-all-way to get them to school either.

That’s the argument behind HopSkipDrive, a startup that is seeking to complement and redefine the traditional bus model of taking students to school. Instead of kids making their way to the pre-determined route of a 72-passenger school bus, HopSkipDrive creates customized pick-ups in cars and vans based on individual students’ needs. It’s a rideshare-like model with similarities to and major differences from Uber and Lyft.

Council for School Safety Leadership launches to help schools recover from tragedy
St. Louis school officials say support on thinking through and acting on initiatives was particularly crucial following an October shooting.

Officials in St. Louis Public Schools were prepared for emergency, worst-case scenarios. They had protocols and procedures to protect staff and students against threats. Their safety and security officers had just conducted intruder drills. 

States were adding lessons about Native American history. Then came the anti-CRT movement
In South Dakota, Oklahoma and elsewhere, educators worry new efforts to teach Native American studies could be undermined by legislation to restrict discussion of race and ethnicity

When the debate over teaching race-related concepts in public schools reached Kimberly Tilsen-Brave Heart’s home state of South Dakota, she decided she couldn’t in good conscience send her youngest daughter to kindergarten at a local public school.

“I knew that the public school system would not benefit my child without the important and critical history and culture of Indigenous people being taught,” said Tilsen-Brave Heart, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation.

Las Tienditas
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