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Texas News
Texas Parents, Teachers, and Students Show Differing Priorities on Federal Education Relief Spending
Social services, new technology, and staff expenses are all vying for top spots in the state’s biggest local school budgets.

With over $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds available for Texas local schools, some broad spending priorities have emerged from districts’ budget plans.

Three SISD mariachi groups compete at state; Socorro’s Los Gavilanes earns highest rating possible
Thanks to their musical talent and showmanship during the regional competition in May, the Socorro, El Dorado, and Pebble Hills High mariachi programs earned Division 1 ratings and qualified them to compete at the UIL State Mariachi Festival June 18 in Seguin, Texas.

“We are extremely proud of all of our mariachi programs in SISD,” said SISD Fine Arts director Armando Martinez. “During these unprecedented times, having three mariachi programs qualify for state is just a reflection of the amazing teachers and students we have in SISD, and we could not be any prouder.”

El Paso non-profit helps students get vaccinated before school starts
Immunize El Paso is expanding immunization opportunities and clinic hours to help families get their students vaccinated before the upcoming school year.

The non-profit offers a Wednesday evening clinic at its San Juan Clinic and is open Saturdays at its eastside & central location.

Laredo College receives donation from Mexican government
For approximately 15 years, Laredo College, in a joint effort with the Government of Mexico, through the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México, has provided financial assistance to students attending our college via the IME Becas Scholarship Program.

IME Becas is a program created in 2005 that seeks to expand educational opportunities in higher education for Mexicans living in the U.S., DACA students and U.S. citizens born to Mexican nationals.

U.S. Department of Education providing an additional $4.1 billion to Texas
Northside ISD will receive $172 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan.

The federal government is sending more money to Texas schools. Here locally, school districts are hoping to use it to help students who fell behind during the pandemic.

“The gaps that really already existed have just widened,” said Janis Jordan, the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Northside ISD.

Sponsor News
Curriculum Associates acquires Texas-based Mentoring Minds
Curriculum Associates, a company that designs research-based instructional materials, assessments and data management tools, has acquired Texas-based Mentoring Minds. Mentoring Minds’ rigorous and standards-aligned critical thinking resources, including the 9 Traits of Critical Thinking and ThinkUp! Standards Mastery System, will live on through Curriculum Associates and its i-Ready platform.

“We are excited to welcome Mentoring Minds to the Curriculum Associates family,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Their commitment to serving classrooms and passion for delivering best-in-class tools and technologies are a natural match to our values and mission, and we look forward to expanding our ability to support educators and improve student achievement together.”
Upcoming Events
TALAS Organizational Meeting
Dinner • Meeting • Networking
July 29, 2021
7 pm – 10 pm
Marriott Hotel Downtown
308 Avenue V, Lubbock, TX
Contact John Gatica:
Phone/text: (806) 427-3797
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available;
Take a look at who’s hiring:
Supporting Your Career
How to list temporary work on your resume
Mentioning temp jobs can either impress recruiters or make them think you are a job-hopper. The first scenario is the best. Follow our guide and get the most out of your short-term experience in your resume.

Temporary work means that an employee is hired for a limited time. It can be several days, weeks, months. Everything depends on the employer’s needs.

Many stereotypes surround this type of employment. Some people think that it mainly works for students or unskilled personnel. However, companies may temporarily hire lawyers, IT specialists, crisis managers, project managers, business consultants, copywriters, designers, etc. Temporary work can be challenging, creative, and lucrative, and professionals with diverse backgrounds can use it as a career opportunity.

National News
Advocacy groups urge school administrators to ban eproctoring
A coalition of 19 advocacy groups are urging school administrators to ban the use of “eproctoring” apps over concerns that the systems are invasive and can be harmful for students. 

Software that uses AI-powered systems to monitor students as they take tests, often through required webcam recordings and facial recognition technology, is known as eproctoring. 

GAO: Ed Dept can improve K-12 operations in 3 priority areas
As district and state education agencies plan to obligate and spend nearly $200 billion in COVID-19 relief funding, the Department of Education should consider including obligations data in its annual report on education local and state education spending, the GAO said. That change, the organization suggests, could better reflect the anticipated gaps between when a district commits to using the funds and when they are actually recorded as spent.

“The [Department of Education] agreed with this recommendation and plans to collaborate with states to develop reporting processes that provide greater clarity on state and school district spending,” the GAO letter said.

The Pandemic Will Worsen Our Reading Problem. Another Outcome Is Possible
Universal literacy is a complex—but achievable—goal

The data on the foundational literacy skills of the class of 2032—the children who were in kindergarten during the shutdown and 1st graders during this bumpy and inequitable 2020-21 school year—are terrifying. According to one commonly used reading assessment, the DIBELS benchmark measures, the percentage of students falling into the “well-below benchmark” category that predicts future reading failure grew from 26 percent in December 2019 to 43 percent in December 2020. All demographic subgroups were affected, but Black and Hispanic students were particularly impacted. There is no precedent for this kind of decline in the last 20 years of using these reading measures.

House Democrats Pitch ‘Massive Funding Increase’ in Latest Education Spending Bill
The main federal program supporting students from low-income backgrounds would increase by more than 100 percent, and overall funding for K-12 schools would increase by more than 60 percent, under an spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year proposed by House lawmakers.

The fiscal 2022 spending legislation for the U.S. Department of Education, released Sunday by a House appropriations subcommittee, is a dramatic departure from past spending bills that typically provided incremental increases for education programs. It shows that House Democrats endorse the President Joe Biden’s call for a huge influx of new federal money for schools to help them address the affects of the coronavirus pandemic. But the proposal still has far to go before reaching Biden’s desk.

To close racial equity gaps, make it simpler for community college students to transfer
Ensuring success for students at California’s community colleges must be at the heart of racial justice efforts in higher education. Our state’s community colleges enroll the majority of Black and Latinx students in California higher education. But enrollment does not equal degree attainment.

Not enough students are reaching the finish line.

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!
IXL’s K-12 personalized learning platform is used by 8 million students. Our comprehensive, standards-aligned curriculum adapts to each student and provides guidance that targets their needs. With the Real-Time Diagnostic and IXL Analytics, teachers have the insights they need to boost student performance in the classroom and on high-stakes assessments.