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Texas News
Dallas schools eye starting early childhood education at birth
DISD leaders seek better ways to serve youngsters before they enroll in school.

Babies and toddlers soon will receive extra support from Dallas ISD under a new initiative aimed at serving the city’s youngest learners.

The school district — one of the state’s leaders in expanding prekindergarten programs — wants to bolster its investment in children before they turn 3.

Tomball ISD plans for growth, innovation in new year
On her daily commute to work, Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora would drive by the former BJ Services headquarters and be reminded of an opportunity that never came to pass.

“We had a program, the Academy of Energy and International Business, that was a partnership with BJ Services,” she said. “That was before COVID.”

Texas’ Education Policy Takes A Blow As Key Texas Lawmakers Retire
In 2018, a commission got to work on redesigning the state’s finance formulas that funnel money to schools in a way that would overshadow the current reform.

A year and a half later, every Republican and Democrat in the statehouse voted yes on the landmark legislation that overhauled the school finance system. 

Statewide elections, a redder South Texas and Beto-mania: the biggest Texas political stories to watch for in 2022
Next year, every state official and every member of the Texas Legislature and Congress are up for election. That makes for a big year in Texas politics.

2021 was an exhausting year in Texas politics.

A power grid failure that left millions of Texans without power. A Democratic quorum break in the Texas House over new voting restrictions. Four legislative sessions that pushed the state further to the right. And persistent fights over COVID-19 rules, namely mask and vaccine mandates.

Her Majesty approves: North Texan breaks barriers with Christmas stamps
Selection of artist for Royal Mail stamps is an expression of peace on Earth

This Christmas, the postal service in the United Kingdom issued a series of holiday stamps designed by North Texas artist Jorge Cocco Santángelo. The artwork, as well as the selection of Santángelo, represents the peace and unity this holiday signifies for millions of people around the world.

Santángelo grew up in Argentina, where he said his gift for artistic expression was “manifest” at an early age. He spoke to us from his home in Forney this week, with his son Amiel Cocco translating.

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National News
Analysis: What School Leaders Can Learn From Black and Latino Parents Who Shaped Education During the Pandemic
COVID-19 has been deeply traumatic and disruptive for students and families. 

But the pandemic also created opportunities for families and community organizations to design their own solutions to educational challenges that existed long before it. 

As school systems move into the 2021–22 school year, they should learn from experiments led by Black and Latinx families that revealed new paths to confronting long-standing educational inequities. 

U.S. education secretary calls for an end to colleges withholding transcripts
The nation’s biggest higher education lobbying group is also now endorsing a change

Withholding transcripts from students who owe their colleges money drives inequitable outcomes, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said, marking the first time ever the nation’s top education official has called for changing the widespread practice.

Schools need teachers of color. This is how to retain them, educators say.
A high school district in Phoenix boasts a diverse teaching staff. A key to their success? Listening to what teachers of color say they and their students need.

When Sandra Jenkins started teaching at Betty H. Fairfax High School in Phoenix 14 years ago, she had three Master’s degrees and four teaching certificates. But what most strongly informed her passion for teaching was the support she received growing up as an Black child taught by Black educators in her Mississippi hometown, and at her alma mater, a historically Black college.

4 tips to help improve COVID-19 testing in schools
When developing a testing system in schools, K-12 leaders suggest one key is to support school nurses.

As omicron becomes the latest COVID-19 twist to upend schools’ plans, several K-12 leaders shared in a virtual panel Tuesday four ways their COVID-19 testing programs successfully function: having a district testing champion, supporting school nurses, partnering with community resources and standardizing communication with families. 

Taboo Struggled With His Identity Growing Up — So He Wrote a Kid’s Book on It
Decades before he helped start the Black Eyed Peas, Taboo Nawasha was a young Jimmy Gomez, wading through a complex identity. His grandmother–a Native American from the Shoshone and Hopi tribes–helped raise him alongside his single mom. Nanny, as she was affectionately called, shared many stories of her life back in Jerome, Arizona. His grandfather, who the artist didn’t grow up around, was from Sonora, Mexico. 

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!
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