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Texas News
San Antonio Names Jaime Aquino New School Superintendent; Hopes That 30-Year Veteran of Denver, NYC, L.A. Will Usher in ‘Second Lap’ of Reforms
San Antonio Independent School District will soon have a new superintendent — Jaime Aquino, a reform-friendly career educator with experience in the nation’s largest school systems.

“I will work tirelessly to ensure that every child in every school receives the highest quality education possible. I don’t take this job lightly,” Aquino said at a Monday school board meeting. In touring the schools in San Antonio during the interview process, he said, he “was inspired by their stories, by their hopes, and by their sense of optimism.”

Tomball ISD Superintendent Dr. Salazar-Zamora Elected to National Education Governance Board
Dedicated to serving as a leader in public education, Tomball ISD Superintendent Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora was elected to a three-year term on the executive committee of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

The 22-member committee, elected by AASA’s governing board, represents each region of the country. The committee meets quarterly and conducts the ongoing business of the organization. For the last year, Salazar-Zamora has been serving AASA as the Texas representative on the organization’s Governing Board.

Amid national pressure, HISD leaders stand up for LGBTQ+ students at inaugural pride summit
Houston ISD’s first LGBTQ+ pride summit was a good first step to show support and affirmation as kids within the community face unprecedented mental health challenges and attacks on their rights, advocates and students said this week.

“It sends the message that we’re not alone and it’s OK to be open,” said Jamie Troutman, an eighth grader at Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School.

This Texas school district takes in kids facing the biggest mental health challenges — and saves lives
There are only eight kids in this class at Linda Tutt Learning Center, but the chaos erupting throughout the room and spilling into the hallway would set any teacher on edge.

A young girl is screaming profanities and eating paper.

A 16-year-old boy is in a heated debate with school personnel about the speakers now emitting “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor at a fever pitch.

Texas Education Agency’s new school library standards push for more scrutiny and parental input
School districts are not required to adopt the agency’s recommendations but can use them as guidance as they develop new procedures or alter their policies for selecting or removing library books.

The Texas Education Agency released statewide standards Monday for how school districts should remove and prevent “obscene content” from entering Texas public school libraries.

A Bipartisan Win for Texas: Electric School Buses
Traditional diesel-fueled engines harm kids’ health and pollute the atmosphere. Upcoming state and federal funds aim to help school districts switch to cleaner alternatives.

When Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure law in November, environmental justice advocates—including many parents with school-age kids—breathed a sigh of relief at the inclusion of one provision. The bill provides $2.5 billion to roll out zero-emissions school buses across the country, and another $2.5 billion for school buses that still emit some pollutants but are cleaner than older models. This money will be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is expected to release guidance soon on how school districts can apply for funding to make the switch.

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National & International News
New Superintendent Alberto Carvalho Plans to Fill Hundreds of Classroom Teacher Vacancies by Reassigning LAUSD School Staff
New Los Angeles Unified school superintendent Alberto Carvalho plans to fill hundreds of teaching vacancies by reassigning school staff to classrooms for the remainder of the year.

“The adults may feel inconvenienced by this, but it is right for the students,” Carvalho told LA School Report. “If we fail to do it, we are not only witnessing a problem, we are participating in something that is tantamount to educational malpractice.”

Carvalho said after spring break he will fill 400 classroom teacher vacancies throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District by drawing from a pool of about 3,000 administrators, intervention specialists and other school staff.

CoSN2022: Leaders Speak on Educational Equity Through Tech in Conference Keynote
The Consortium for School Networking’s opening session brought together a CIO, a superintendent and the commissioner of the FCC to speak on the power of working collectively toward a goal.

The Consortium for School Networking kicked off its annual conference Monday in Nashville, Tenn., with a keynote session featuring three leaders in policy, education and technology. Musician Benji Harris, the master of ceremonies for the conference, introduced Steve Langford, CIO for Oregon’s Beaverton School District and CoSN chair, and Holly Doe, CTO for New Hampshire’s Pelham School District and CoSN conference co-chair.

Report: 40% of districts plan to spend ESSER funds on tutoring
More than 40% of school districts and charter school organizations plan to fund tutoring and academic coaching using their federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, according to a new report by FutureEd, a nonpartisan think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.

FutureEd estimated that districts have dedicated over $1.7 billion in ESSER III funding to tutoring and coaching so far. FutureEd based the findings on a COVID-19 spending database of more than 3,500 local education agencies compiled by the Burbio data services firm.

A blueprint for boosting K-12 science education in the US
A massive infusion of taxpayer funding for local school districts to overcome pandemic learning losses represents a major opportunity to bolster ailing K-12 science education in the U.S.

Covid relief bills are providing some $192 billion for schools, roughly six times the amount of the 2021 base federal funding to schools. Local communities and educators should seize on this unique moment to set a new trajectory for all students across the country, wherever they live and whatever their backgrounds.

Inside the vast national experiment in test-optional college admissions
“It has been really illuminating and instructive to be frankly kind of forced into this policy,” one Ivy League admissions director said.

As the deadline to submit college applications approached last year, Hilary Cabrera Orozco braced for disappointment.

The daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants, and a nearly straight-A student, had her heart set on attending Cornell University, the elite campus in upstate New York where her older cousin was already enrolled.

Las Tienditas
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Contact: Jennifer Knighton – 512.736.3592