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Texas News
A message from ALAS

The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) is prioritizing the continued development of its State Affiliates network to ensure effective and collaborative networking, professional learning, and policy advocacy. 

As part of this effort, ALAS has partnered with an education research firm, Hanover Research, to gather perceptions and perspectives from current ALAS members regarding the role of the State Affiliates and to identify critical topics members would like to see their respective Affiliates address moving forward.

ALAS would like to hear from you. To participate in the survey, please click here.

The survey will take approximately 5-7 minutes of your time to complete and will be open between April 20th – May 4th.

We look forward to hearing from you y te agradezco!
Frisco ISD Making Plans To Launch Permanent Virtual School Beginning With The 2021-22 School Year
The Frisco Independent School District plans to offer permanent, full-time virtual learning to students starting in the 2021-22 school year.

The district says students grades 3 through 12 may be able to opt for all online classes, that meet all grade level and graduation course requirements.

The structure of the program will be different than the virtual learning offered during the 2020-21 school year.

Austin ISD asks state to provide school districts with CARES Act funding earmarked for education spending
Austin ISD has formally requested that the state of Texas provide school districts with coronavirus relief funding allocated by the federal government over the past year for education.

State leaders are currently holding on to nearly $18 billion in federal stimulus funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trustees unanimously approved a resolution April 22 requesting that Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Legislature and the Texas Education Agency ensure public education funds passed by the U.S. Congress through three stimulus packages “flow directly to local education agencies without additional restrictions.”

Authors respond to Texas school district book ban
On April 21, a group of authors released an official response on the PEN American website to the banning of their books by the Leander Independent School District in Texas. On March 8, KVUE-ABC reported that Leander ISD had removed six books from its book club lists in response to parent complaints about the content of In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. One parent brought a sex toy to a board meeting and indicated that looking at the sex toy in question was the same as reading Machado’s award-winning book. Leander ISD oversees schools in Leander, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Jonestown, Round Rock in Williamson County and northwest Austin in Travis County.  

A Section of Trump Border Wall in South Texas Cost $27 Million a Mile. It’s Being Foiled by $5 Ladders.
“Ladders and walls go together like peas and carrots,” says one McAllen Border Patrol agent.

Every month for the past decade, Scott Nicol, a 51-year-old artist and activist, has set out from his home in McAllen to roam the Rio Grande Valley in search of ladders used to scale the border wall in South Texas. On a cool and overcast day in early April, Nicol has centered his hunt on an eight-mile stretch of border between the towns of Hidalgo and Granjeno, where an Obama-era wall meets up with a newly constructed piece of Trump’s wall.

Upcoming Events
Dallas ISD to host large-scale, virtual hiring event April 29
Are you interested in teaching next year? Dallas ISD is holding an event for you.

This Thursday, there will be a virtual hiring event where principals and their hiring team will meet and interview candidates. It is an opportunity for potential teachers to have their questions answered and find out if a teaching position in DISD is a good fit for them.

Anyone who registers for the district-wide job fair should bring a resume, teaching certificate or proof of teaching eligibility.

Those interested in applying to be a teacher for the 2021-22 school year can fill out this form. According to the district website, the starting teacher salary is $56,500.

The virtual event runs from 4-6 p.m. April 29. Register here.

For more information, email
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Supporting Your Career
How To Network For Your Job Search—And Not Appear Needy Or Greedy
The thing about networking is, the best way to make it feel genuine — so the other person doesn’t feel like you’re desperate or imposing on them or just reaching out because you need something — is to actually reach out without needing something. Imagine that: you contact someone without a specific purpose or agenda in mind. This requires a long-term networking mindset. You develop a habit of getting in touch on a regular basis, during which not every point of contact will be you asking for a favor. If you haven’t invested in your network in this way, start now, especially if you might be looking for a new job sometime this year. This gives you several months to ease back into your relationships.

National News
Sec. Cardona hears from undocumented educators and students, vows to support them amid immigration uncertainty
A common theme of a recent talk with the Education Secretary was support for the Dream and Promise Act.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, who was officially confirmed to his position by the Senate on Monday, March 1, recently heard from several educators who told him about their experiences as DACA recipients.

On Tuesday, April 20, Cardona intently listened to 11 participants on a call share their stories and thoughts on the value of higher education and making it accessible to all, regardless of documentation status.

Oakland Schools Have a Bold, Simple Idea for Helping Students’ Struggling Families: Raise Money for Them
Ana Carpio, a mom of three, lost her restaurant job last year as Oakland and the Bay Area went into lockdown, forcing restaurants to close or drastically reduce their hours. Carpio was the primary income-earner in her household, which at the time included her 18-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and newborn granddaughter. Carpio’s older daughter, who normally would have been able to help out financially, wasn’t able to work because she had just given birth.

Not knowing where to turn, Carpio got help from a place she hadn’t expected: her younger daughter’s elementary school, Bridges Academy at Melrose. She received $500 from the school last April and an additional $250 payment in June, which she put toward rent and groceries.

5 qualities of effective in-school tutoring programs
High-quality tutoring programs should focus on students’ strengths, not weaknesses, and should include strong social-emotional supports, recommended participants in a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Learning Policy Institute and AASA, The School Superintendents Association.

Done well, high-impact tutoring can help individual students accelerate their learning and increase their engagement with school, said Susanna Loeb, director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University and a panelist. But designed poorly, tutoring can be ineffective, she said.

Education leaders serving Latino students rethink college equity post-pandemic
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Hispanic-serving institutions are crucial in promoting opportunity as the nation recovers from Covid-19’s impact.

As higher education leaders mark 25 years since the creation of Hispanic-serving institutions, they’re assessing how these colleges and universities can enroll and graduate more Latino students amid the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last fall, colleges saw a 5 percent drop in Latino undergraduate enrollments. The dramatic decrease came one year after Latino college enrollment had increased by nearly 2 percent, according to Deborah Santiago, CEO of Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit that analyzes how higher education institutions are enrolling, retaining and graduating Latino students.

Alicia en Wonderlandia? The case for Spanglish on World Book Day
Latino scholar Ilan Stavans has translated his third classic to Spanglish, this time “Alicia’s Adventuras en Wonderlandia.” Spanglish, he says, is “a familiar voice.”

World Book Day celebrates both authors and readers, and one Mexican Jewish author and scholar has an idea to mark the April 23 literary love fest. He suggests reading a classic from another culture and then rewriting parts of it in Spanglish — like he’s recently done himself.

The Exact Opposite of a Stereotype: Coral Peña Reflects on Playing a NASA Engineer in ‘For All Mankind’
In the last six years, Dominican American actress Coral Peña has worked in Hollywood, and taken on projects like her role in Steven Spielberg’s 2017 film The Post. She feels lucky that she’s yet to get a script where a character she is auditioning for is described as a “Latin lover.”

“I’ve heard the horror stories,” Peña tells Remezcla during a recent interview. “I’m not looking forward to the day where I’m like, ‘What is this?!’ Nobody wants to be put in that position. You just want to act and be respected.”

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
ParentSquare is a unified, equitable communication platform combining district notifications, school/classroom two-way dialogue, and services including health screening, eSignatures, sign-ups, surveys, attendance, volunteering, and much more. Partners enjoy detailed oversights and an immediate, measurable spike in engagement scoring due to ease of use and state-of-the-art language translations.

Vice President District Partnerships