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Texas News
School board names Servellon as interim superintendent
An interim superintendent has been appointed to lead the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District.

Theresa Servellon, a former teacher, school principal and director of federal programs with SBCISD, is taking over the seat of former Superintendent Nate Carman.

The district board of trustees accepted Carman’s resignation during the Tuesday, March 8 meeting and appointed Servellon after meeting in a closed-door session.

Timeline Laid Out in Dallas ISD Superintendent Search
The timeline laid out by the search firm has the trustees voting on a new leader in June

Dallas ISD trustees on Thursday approved a timeline for the district’s superintendent search that sets them up to vote on a new schools chief by early June.

The process of replacing longtime superintendent Michael Hinojosa has already been somewhat fraught. The board initially planned to use two search firms for the job. One has since dropped out, leaving Austin-based Walsh Gallegos as the sole firm working with the district.

Austin ISD to restructure elementary art, music, PE classes to increase teacher planning time, boost academic outcomes
The Austin ISD school board discussed increasing planning time for elementary teachers to improve students’ academic performance in core subjects at a meeting March 10.

The percentage of AISD students who fail to meet Texas academic standards is often higher than the state average. Within the district, the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers is significant. In 2021, 47% of AISD students met expectations on State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness in reading, compared to 26% of economically disadvantaged AISD students.

What can be done to close the Latino college gap?
According to U.S. Census data, just 17% of Hispanics in the San Antonio Metropolitan Area have a bachelor’s degree, well under half the rate of degree attainment for San Antonio’s white and Asian population.

San Antonio’s Black population falls in between, but is also less likely to have a college degree.

Despite years of targeted efforts to close the gap, disparities in higher education degree attainment remain largely unchanged.

Texas’ traditionally sleepy school board races are suddenly attracting attention — and money
As conservative parents become more frustrated with how school boards handled the pandemic, once-ignored school board elections are becoming better funded.

Venture out about 20 miles northwest of Austin and you’ll eventually find Lake Travis — the favored boating and recreation destination. The pickup trucks and SUVs pulling boats are an easy tipoff this time of year. What you won’t be immediately aware of is that the Lake Travis Independent School District, which serves about 11,357 students, is getting ready for a tense school board election.

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National News
Photo History: From Campus Lockdowns to Zoom Classes and Learning Pods, Scenes From 24 Surreal Months of School Amid COVID
Two years ago, teachers and millions of students across the country left their classrooms Friday afternoon unaware their schools would not reopen until the following school year. 

By the following Monday (March 16, 2020), the pandemic had turned education upside down. Garages became classrooms. The National Guard became bus drivers. And once classrooms reopened, lessons and learning had to balance against an array of new safety protocols. Soon, a new normal emerged. Between two years of masking protests, COVID testing and rolling quarantines, students across the country have learned, lived and graduated in the most surreal circumstances.

Fiscal 2022 K-12 spending explained in 6 charts
Trends in spending since 2019 show while most major programs have increased steadily, a fiscal cliff remains likely.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed into law appropriations for fiscal year 2022, providing $76.4 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, the largest increase for federal education programs in a decade. 

“The bipartisan package makes important strides to meet the needs of the whole child, to support effective teaching and learning, and to strengthen the pipeline for underrepresented teachers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement. 

A lesson in hypocrisy — what’s really behind the ‘parental rights’ movement
More states push legislation banning teaching about race and gender, while Texas goes even further by investigating parents

Discussion of parental rights in education are everywhere these days, but they all depend on which parents are being pandered to by politicians and educators. I was struck by this built-in hypocrisy while listening to yet another back-and-forth on the so-called culture wars last week.

3 actions K-12 leaders should push for to better fund English learners
Advocates and researchers push for weighted funding to meet the diverse needs of English learners.

Diversity doesn’t simply mean supporting English learners—it also means recognizing the heterogeneity of English learners themselves. English learners are not, after all, a homogeneous group, says Indira Dammu, a researcher and senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit that works to improve outcomes for underserved students. “English learners are incredibly diverse in terms of languages spoken and the time they’ve spent in U.S. public schools,” says Dammu, who released co-authored an analysis of how to improve funding for EL students.

‘My whole life was there’: Mexicans who evacuated from Ukraine long to return
Mexico’s government evacuated 81 people who fled Ukraine to neighboring countries and announced it will evacuate more.

Alba Becerra said she can’t forget the sound of the explosions in the Ukrainian town of Horenychi, 10 minutes from Kyiv, where she lived until Feb. 25. At dawn that day, the invading Russian forces bombed an airfield there.

“I didn’t want to leave. My whole life was there,” Becerra, 50, told Noticias Telemundo from Mexico City. “The bombs convinced me I had to grab a few things, put them in a suitcase and leave with my son, my daughter-in-law and cats.”

Las Tienditas
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