Renew your membership today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
TIDES program sets students up for success
A special partnership between Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the Flour Bluff Independent School District is helping students succeed.

The teaching independence, determination and empowerment skills program, or TIDES helps area students learn job and life skills.

Students with Flour Bluff ISD’s Ready, Set, Go program spent Tuesday morning learning all about college life and working on campus.

Tomball ISD’s prekindergarten center to open in August
Construction has begun on Tomball ISD’s prekindergarten center, named the Early Excellence Academy, which is set to open this August, Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross said.

The center, located on Keefer Road behind the staff development center, will house around 350 students in its first year, Ross said.

Community Impact previously reported the new prekindergarten center was included in the district’s 2021 bond approved by voters. TISD has been working toward a full-day prekindergarten program as a result of House Bill 3 approved in 2019.

Why Recruiting Bilingual Educators Works
When Natalie Griffin was elevated in 2017 to oversee a Texas school district’s bilingual program, she inherited decades-long problems in hiring certified teachers. The state put extra pressure on the Mineral Wells school district to improve, in order to comply with Texas’ bilingual education law.

Since then, Griffin has grown the district’s number of bilingual teachers by about two each year, from five to 12, even as other districts have struggled to recruit and retain bilingual teachers.

Building Bond Support
Fort Stockton ISD Superintendent Gabriel Zamora was disappointed after two bond proposals on the ballot last May did not pass. The week after the election, Zamora sent an email to parents, staff, and students expressing his post-election frustrations. He admits the email was not well received. The Fort Stockton Pioneer printed it as a letter to the editor, prompting a few angry responses. “But it at least made some people pay attention,” said Zamora.

Zamora set aside his frustrations and got back to work on the bond proposals, launching a communications strategy that focused on consistent, educational conversations with community members throughout the spring and summer. The board met in August with a facility advisory committee made up of more than 40 parents, staff, and community members who unanimously supported the committee’s recommendation for a November bond election.

Gov. Greg Abbott tells state agencies to stop considering diversity in hiring
In a memo written Monday and obtained by The Texas Tribune, Abbott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate told agency leaders that using diversity, equity and inclusion policies in hiring violates federal and state employment laws, and hiring cannot be based on factors “other than merit.”

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office is warning state agency and public university leaders this week that the use of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives — policies that support groups who have been historically underrepresented or discriminated against — is illegal in hiring.

School Turnaround Leadership
The Charles Butt Foundation is sponsoring five campus leadership teams serving Texas public schools to attend the School Turnaround Leaders institute. This institute provides your campus leadership team the opportunity to develop or refine your campus’ targeted improvement plan or school turnaround plan to ensure buy-in and improve academic performance.

The 2023 session will be held from June 5, 2023 to June 9, 2023 with travel to Harvard on June 4 and return from Harvard on June 9.

Campus leadership teams applying for this Institute must currently be assigned to a school that received an overall D or F in 2019 and which did not receive a rating of A, B, or C in 2022.
Achieving Excellence: Leadership Development for Principals
The Charles Butt Foundation is sponsoring thirty principals serving Texas public schools to attend the Achieving Excellence: Leadership Development for Principals institute. This institute will provide you the opportunity to strengthen your leadership and management skills and revitalize your personal vision of leadership. Participants will learn new methods for improving individual, group, and organizational performance.

The 2023 session will be held from July 9, 2023 to July 14, 2023 with travel to Harvard on July 8 and return from Harvard on July 14.
Affiliate Feature
The El Paso Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents is an educational organization that Empowers advocates in El Paso del Norte by building capacity in educational leaders that will impact all students in the region. ​
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
In 2022 Midterms, Career Ed Emerged as Rare Source of Bipartisan Agreement
New analysis of governors’ races in 2022 finds that Democrats, Republicans saw eye to eye on little except expanding CTE and raising K-12 funding

In 2022, 36 states elected governors, and the races saw clear partisan divides on education topics from school safety to teacher pay. But a new analysis suggests that the 72 Democrats and Republicans running to lead their states found a few select issues they could all agree upon.

Foremost among them: expanding career and technical education.

Teacher shortage hits bilingual students
The impacts of a teacher shortage across the country are particularly stark for bilingual students and English learners, advocates say.

The big picture: The Latino population has ballooned in the past decade, especially in cities in the South and East with historically lower numbers of Hispanics.

Meanwhile, data shows that the number of people who speak a language other than English nearly tripled in the last 40 years.

Conservatives’ Civil Rights Complaints Target Meet-Ups for Students of Color
Complex legal issues surround new U.S. Education Department complaints that school gatherings for people of color discriminate against white students

Growing up in northern Vermont, people who looked like Irian Adii were few and far between. She recalls that her all-white second-grade classmates spread the rumor that the young girl, who has a Black father and white mother, was sick and contagious.

“No one would touch what I touched because they thought someone that looked like me must have been, like, riddled with disease,” Adii said. One peer told her to change her skin color like pop superstar Michael Jackson did.

Afro Latino scholars and activists slam Gov. DeSantis’ dissection of AP African American studies
Rejecting an AP course on African American studies, the Florida governor now has a bigger plan to ban diversity programs in all state colleges by prohibiting funding.

Educator and community activist Ted Victor was outraged when he learned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had decided an Advanced Placement African American studies course his daughter planned to take “significantly lacks educational value.”

“No educational value, like something you can discard, something you can just throw away, something that says you are not as important as other people,” said Victor, who is Afro Latino and has taught for 25 years at the middle and high school level, and college.

Celia Cruz, icon of salsa music, to be the first Afro Latina to appear on a U.S. quarter
Cruz, known as the Queen of Salsa, was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated Latin music artists.

The late Cuban American singer Celia Cruz, known as the Queen of Salsa, will be the first Afro Latina to appear on the U.S. quarter.

Cruz was one of the 20th century’s most celebrated Latin music artists. She recorded over 80 albums and gained worldwide fame. She was recognized with 23 gold albums, three Grammy Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards and the President’s National Medal of Arts, according to the Smithsonian Institution. She was also honored with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Grammys.

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!
Energia®, a nationwide energy-savings engineering firm, turns school district energy liabilities into educational assets. They are a team of Energy Performance Contract (EPC) experts and manage the process from start to finish for school districts. From scope evaluation, to ESCO (Energy Services Companies) selection, to construction oversight, to validating results, Energia represents YOU, the school district, making sure the entire EPC project goes as planned, and the savings are maximized.