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Texas News
San Marcos CISD donates $600K historic building to Hispanic nonprofit
After months of controversy, the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District voted to officially donate a $600,000 historic school building to a Hispanic-centered nonprofit education group, raising ire from community members who said the donation was a waste of taxpayer resources.

The former Bonham Prekindergarten School campus hasn’t been used as a San Marcos CISD school since the early 2000s. But for the past 12 years, it’s been rented by the Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos as a center for education and outreach to the region’s Mexican-American community.

Day 3 at SXSW EDU 2022: Cardona raises student voice; district leaders, including Hutto ISD’s Celina Estrada-Thomas, discuss population shifts
The Austin ed innovation festival’s third day also included principal pipeline equity discussions and a hip-hop icon promoting student mental health.

“Schools are hubs of the community. It’s all about relationships.”

This is the primary truth U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona believes even more strongly following his first year as the nation’s top education official, he told a packed Wednesday keynote crowd at SXSW EDU in Austin, Texas.

TEA Announces Expansion of Teacher Vacancy Task Force
Officials say Josue Torres of Forney will serve as chair of the newly expanded task force.

On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced its immediate expansion of the Teacher Vacancy Task Force.

The organization created the expansion which launched Mar. 10 to ensure there was equal representation of classroom teachers and school system administrators.

Appeals court sides with Texas schools over Abbott on mask mandate
An appellate court on Thursday sided with Texas school districts in their dispute with state officials over mask mandates, which numerous school systems already have lifted as pandemic conditions have eased.

The state’s the 3rd Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s orders that granted school districts temporary injunctive relief from the enforcement of an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott prohibiting mask mandates.

‘What We Leave Behind’ Is a Beautifully Understated Migration Story
And an exciting feature debut for Texan director Iliana Sosa.

What We Leave Behind, a documentary feature that premiered last week at South by Southwest, is arresting from the start. Julián Moreno, 89, reclines languidly on a living room couch, chewing something, his thin face riven with the thick lines left behind by time and labor. He’s come to see family in El Paso, but he’s eager to get home. His granddaughter, the filmmaker, asks him why. “Here, I plunk down on the couch and watch TV all day,” he says, in a rural Mexican Spanish that compresses and blurs. “I wonder what I’m doing here, so I go back.” 

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National News
Gustavo Balderas, 2020 National Superintendent of the Year, selected as Beaverton School District superintendent
Gustavo Balderas was the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year, according to the American School Superintendent Association.

A national search for a new superintendent for the Beaverton School District has found a nationally acclaimed replacement for retiring superintendent Don Grotting.

Gustavo Balderas was the 2020 National Superintendent of the Year, according to the American School Superintendents Association.

He begins in Beaverton on July 1 after Grotting’s retirement.

Black, Latino queer students say they are on edge in the wake of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
They say the controversial Florida bill, which would ban discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation in elementary schools, will make it harder to find support.  

Miami eighth grader Zen Nelson, who is Afro Latinx and uses gender-neutral pronouns, said they have been subjected to homophobic slurs from their classmates for at least the past four years.

Zen said they didn’t bring this up to school administrators because they feared their complaints would not be taken as seriously as those of their white and wealthier peers who were harassing them.  

Number of Hispanic Serving Institutions falls as pandemic cuts Latino enrollment
This year marks the first decline in more than two decades of the number of colleges and universities with at least 25 percent full-time Hispanic students, according to new data.

The number of colleges and universities that are Hispanic Serving Institutions fell as Latino enrollment declined during the pandemic, according to new data from Excelencia in Education, a Latino higher education research and advocacy group.

Universities and colleges qualifying as Hispanic Serving Institutions, or HSIs, dropped from 569 in 2020-21 to 559 in 2021-22 , according to the data provided first to NBC News. This is the largest decline in HSIs since 1996-97.

How 2 HBCUs are going online to increase diversity of K-12 leadership
Aspiring Principals Fellowship is an online certification and master’s program tailored to teachers of color.

Though the majority of students in K-12 schools are now of color, only about a fifth of their principals identify similarly—and just 2% are Black men. A new higher ed initiative, driven by two leading HBCUs, will work to move more teachers of color through the principal pipeline.

Latinas can ‘work until they die’ and never recover wage gap losses, expert says
Latinas working full time, year-round face lifetime losses that surpass $1.1 million, according to Jasmine Tucker of the National Women’s Law Center.

Women of all races who worked full time, year-round in 2020 were paid on average just 83 cents for every dollar paid to men, according to a National Women’s Law Center report released ahead of Equal Pay Day on Tuesday.

The symbolic day marks how far into the year most women must work to earn what men were paid in the previous year.

First Latino Cabinet member, Lauro Cavazos, dies at 95
Former Education Secretary Lauro F. Cavazos Jr., the first Latino to serve in a Cabinet position, died Tuesday. He was 95 years old. 

Cavazos served under former Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was first appointed by Reagan at the end of his term in 1988.

His death was confirmed by Texas Tech University, where he was president from 1980-1988.

As president of the university, he was the first alumnus and Latino to serve in the role. 

Las Tienditas
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