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Texas News
G-PISD’s Barbie Ezell added to state Advisory Committee for Special Education
Gregory-Portland ISD Director of Special Education Barbie Ezell was appointed recently to Gov. Greg Abbott’s Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education.

She will serve among a team of six professionals through Feb. 1, 2025. The committee will provide policy guidance for special education and related services for children with disabilities in the state.

Ezell said her highest priority has been serving G-PISD’s children.

Ayala: A&M-San Antonio can’t be half-hearted about training bilingual teachers — they’re desperately needed
President Cynthia Teniente-Matson of Texas A&M University-San Antonio has been emphatic lately in her support for the university’s Bilingual and English as a Second Language Education Program.

Though it has suffered enrollment loses, the program continues to prepare students for work in area school districts that desperately need them.

“We’re not eliminating, discontinuing or dismantling the program,” she said. “I want this program to be one of the best programs at the university because our community needs it. Our superintendents need it.”

Bolstered by CRT, book fights, conservative PACs aim to ‘take back’ Texas school boards
Will the local municipal races in Texas be able to stay nonpartisan during growing divisiveness?

A Southlake mother and lawyer spent recent months relaying to other conservative parents the playbook that catapulted her onto the Carroll school board.

Hannah Smith’s path proved to be an inspiration to trustee hopefuls, Republican donors and the state GOP. And now, ahead of several school board elections in May, the resonance of her story could be put to the test at the ballot box.

As Texas targets trans kids, their families scramble to find lawyers
Ever since Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care to their children, LGBTQ-affirming family lawyers statewide have been deluged with calls.

For the last two weeks, a mom in the Austin area has been vacillating between rage and panic. Some days, she’s so fired up she feels like she could take on the entire state of Texas by herself. Other days, she just crawls under her weighted blanket and lets the fear take over.

Henry Cuellar, Jessica Cisneros head to runoff for South Texas congressional seat
Nine-term incumbent Cuellar will face progressive attorney Cisneros in May to secure the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. House District 28.

Embattled U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar’s political purgatory will extend into the spring.

Weeks after the FBI raided his home and office, one of Texas’ most powerful Democrats in Congress was unable to secure his party’s nomination Tuesday and will face progressive attorney Jessica Cisneros in what is expected to be a bitter May 24 runoff.

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National News
Super HSIs: Recognizing a New Tier of Institutions
Federal funding should be targeted to those institutions that most effectively serve Latino students, not just those that enroll large numbers, Kim A. Wilcox writes.

It’s not enough to be a Hispanic-serving institution anymore. There are now 569 HSIs, defined by the federal government as institutions where Hispanic students account for at least 25 percent of undergraduate enrollment. It’s time for a further distinction that acknowledges the universities that not only enroll large numbers of Latino students but do more to intentionally serve them.

Illinois paying teachers to become bilingual educators
A $4 million federal grant program is available to pay for Illinois teachers to earn a state license to teach the English language.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced the program Friday. State education officials hope it will increase the number of bilingual education teachers in the state.

According to the board, Illinois school districts reported 98 vacancies for teachers to lead bilingual education classrooms.

Teachers Are Leaving The Classroom, But The Pandemic Is Not Yet To Blame
The pandemic disrupted the daily operations of schools across the country, but is not responsible for teachers leaving the classroom — so far, at least — according to a Texas A&M University expert on teacher success and retention.

Nationwide, about 6 percent of teachers and 6 percent of principals left at the end of the 2020-21 school year, said Andrew Kwok, an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture. This is in line with attrition rates before the pandemic.

Want to Reduce Suspensions for Students of Color? Look to Teachers of Color
Black and Hispanic students are suspended at disproportionately high rates compared to their peers, a phenomenon that starts as early as preschool. But assigning them to a teacher of the same race can lessen the likelihood of suspension, a recent study finds.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that teachers of color have positive effects on both the academic and social-emotional success of students, and particularly students of color.

Meet Daisy Gonzales, the Latina Deputy Chancellor Who’s Changing the Face of Leaders in Education
Representation matters — in the boardroom, the classroom, on screen, and everywhere in between. 

When it comes to education administration and the leaders guiding students of all ages across this country, representation in education has never been more important, which is why Daisy Gonzales’ position as the deputy chancellor of the California Community Colleges is so impressive. It’s also why this Latina trailblazer has the potential to impact other Latinas and minority students for generations to come.

No pressure.

Las Tienditas
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Sheryl Colaur – 708-565-3545