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Texas News
Chapel Hill ISD caters to bilingual students with 1,700 new Spanish books
The books are set to debut inside classrooms and the campus library at the end of January for students to check out.

Chapel Hill ISD school Kissam Intermediate is ready to stock up its library and classrooms with a new selection of 1,700 Spanish books.

The books are funded through Title III funds and were bought for the district to cater to biliteracy students, and the “new type” of bilingual students who learn both languages at the same time, said Jadwiga Mews, director of Bilingual/ESL at Chapel Hill ISD.

North Texas Schools Get Millions for Career, Technical Programs
The Texas Workforce Commission issued millions in grants that will help buy equipment for at least 10 local school districts and four local college programs.

At least ten North Texas school districts will benefit from millions of dollars in state funding designed to help students get good jobs when they graduate.

The Texas Workforce Commission oversees the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program, which helps schools buy equipment “to establish or expand career and technical education programs that offer Texas students the opportunity to earn a license, certificate, or post-secondary degree” in various fields, according to a news release.

Here are five public education issues to keep an eye on during Texas’ 88th legislative session
Texas lawmakers return to Austin this week for the start of a new legislative session. It will be the first one since the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, and it will be the second regular session since the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in education.

Public education advocates have a wish list of issues they’d like the Legislature to prioritize. Topping that list is increasing state funding for public schools to help, among other things, raise teacher salaries after tens of thousands of educators have left their jobs.

Watch: After the Uvalde shooting, one Texas school district increases focus on mental health
Round Rock ISD is thought to be among the first school districts in Texas where social workers and police officers work directly with one another to provide mental health support to students.

In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, Texas school districts are once again rethinking how they respond to threats of violence.

Round Rock Independent School District’s behavioral health and school police departments train and work together to provide a preventive approach. One of the ways they’re working to ensure safety is by referring students who have posed a threat to themselves or others to the district’s in-house social workers.

‘Living Legend’ Norma Martínez Rogers a champion of first-generation Hispanic nursing students
During her more than 50-year nursing career, Norma Martínez Rogers focused on mentoring, nursing education, advocating for underserved populations and health care policy changes. But she never forgot the feeling the first time she stepped onto campus as a nursing student.

“Because I was a first-generation Hispanic attending college as a nursing student myself, I saw the need to encourage and support students who had never made this journey before into higher education,” said Martínez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emeritus in the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing.

Affiliate Feature
AHSA, TALAS’ Houston affiliate, is a professional organization for education employees of TEA Service Region IV who are dedicated to developing and advancing school leaders that can help better the lives of students we serve. Additionally, AHSA has adopted philanthropy of supporting rising school leaders and donates up to $35,0000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in education. Since our inception, AHSA has given over a half-million dollars to this cause and continues to award more scholarships each year.
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National News
With a New COVID Variant Rising, Some Schools Revert to Former Safety Measures
The return from winter break has been met with a haunting sense of déjà vu for some districts, bringing back memories of the last few tumultuous years of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the spring of 2020, returning from spring, summer, and holiday breaks has brought uncertainty. Would reconvening lead to a spike of illness? Would students and families welcome precautions like masking, or would they consider them too much?

Seattle Public Schools sues social media companies amid youth mental health crisis
Laying blame for the youth mental health crisis squarely on the doorstep of social media companies, Seattle Public Schools have filed a lawsuit alleging that the platforms purposefully designed, marketed and promoted the platforms to maximize use among children and teens despite knowing the harm that would cause.

The lawsuit claims the social media companies behind Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok violated Washington’s public nuisance law by igniting a mental health crisis in Seattle Public Schools. That law defines a public nuisance as something “which affects equally the rights of an entire community or neighborhood, although the extent of the damage may be unequal.”

Too many students lack leaders of color. What K-12 can do about it
‘Georgia is only one example of a state that primarily serves students of color and needs a strong diverse leadership pipeline,’ expert says.

A racial gap in a southern state reveals one of education’s most pressing problems: Many students don’t go to schools with leaders of color.

Nationally, only 22% of principals are people of color compared with 54% of students. And in Georgia, more than a third of all students—and the majority of white students—do not attend schools with even one leader of color, according to a new report by The Education Trust and New Leaders.

A New Playbook to Recruit Tutors: Tap Teachers in Training
Amid labor shortages, hiring from teacher prep programs could ‘unlock’ up to a half million new tutor candidates nationwide, experts say

It’s 9:05 a.m. at Hendley Elementary School in southeast Washington, D.C. when Isabel Chae meets her first tutee of the day. The American University student pulls the first grader, who she describes as “so bubbly, so bright,” out of his classroom and the youngster asks to get a drink of water. 

Why being bilingual can open doors for children with developmental disabilities, not close them
When parents learn their child has a developmental disability, they often have questions about what their child may or may not be able to do.

Children with developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, often have challenges and delays in language development. And for some families, one of these questions may be: “Will speaking two languages be detrimental to their development?”

However, studies consistently demonstrate exposure to an additional language, including a minority language, does not impact language outcomes negatively. This highlights the importance of giving children the opportunity to become bilingual.

Las Tienditas
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