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Texas News
Educator Honored for State Bilingual Education
Michelle Cavazos, a fifth-grade teacher at McAllen ISD’s Sanchez Elementary, has earned one of the top awards for bilingual education. 

Earlier this month, she was named the 2022 Bilingual Education Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE). She was recognized by the McAllen ISD School Board during its regular meeting held September 26.  

She will be presented with her award at the 50th annual TABE Conference October 15 in Houston.  

Donna ISD moves toward becoming district of innovation
The Donna Independent School District took another step earlier this month toward becoming a district of innovation, a status that would give it flexibility regarding local controls more in line with an open-enrollment charter school.

On Sept. 13, the district’s board of trustees held a public hearing on the proposal, a step that allows it to move forward with committee meetings over the next three months.

The board could vote to approve the plan as soon as February.

Texas students are becoming ‘majority-minority.’ Data shows how teaching staffs lag behind
Latino students make up the majority but only 30% of teachers are Latino

Though the majority of Texas public school students are Latino, most teachers and principals in the state are white.

While 53 percent of the state’s 5.4 million students enrolled during the 2021-22 school year were Latino, data from the Texas Education Agency shows, just 29 percent of teachers and 25 percent of principals were Latino.

Teacher morale, politics and other takeaways on Texas education
Dallas, Mesquite and Richardson school superintendents sound off on the challenges facing educators.

Maintaining teacher morale and navigating tense political atmospheres in many communities are some of the top challenges facing Texas school leaders, three local superintendents say.

The superintendents of Dallas, Richardson and Mesquite joined Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath at the Dallas Regional Chamber’s annual State of Public Education event Tuesday.

First major lawsuit filed over Robb Elementary School mass shooting in Uvalde
The first major lawsuit has been filed over the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde by the families of three surviving students.

“The horrors of May 24, 2022, were only possible because so many in positions of power were negligent, careless, and reckless,” Stephanie B. Sherman, the lead attorney in the case, said in a statement.

Announcements
Emergent Bilingual Week:
Accelerate Language, Accelerate Literacy
Oct. 17–21, 2022
Monday–Friday, 12 pm–1 pm EST
This five-day event will consist of a series of webinars that explore important aspects of supporting emergent bilingual students, including the acceleration of English language learning, the role of oral language in literacy instruction, language learning efficacy and research, how educators can leverage artificial intelligence to support Emergent Bilingual students, and much more!
Affiliate Feature
CTALAS, TALAS’ Central Texas affiliate, commits to continue TALAS’ mission to improve learning outcomes for Latino learners by providing leadership development, collective impact, advocacy, and a proactive voice for Latino and non-Latino leaders who have a passion for serving the fastest growing student population in the state.
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National News
Efficient spending of school funds may hinge on improving procurement processes
Effective school procurement procedures — requesting, sourcing, purchasing and receiving materials or services — can have positive impacts on student learning, ease staff workloads and save money, according to a report from Chiefs for Change, a membership organization of state and local education leaders. 

The report describes one unnamed large district that struggled with procurement staff shortages, cumbersome approval processes, unclear timelines and other barriers. By prioritizing procurement initiatives that would have a high impact, the district has shortened bid process timelines by digitizing paper submissions and accelerated purchase orders under $500. 

How a bilingual preschool is trying to close Memphis’ literacy gap
One late September morning at Su Casa Preschool, seven 4-year-olds sat cross-legged on their classroom’s reading rug, anxiously awaiting their turn to share what they had accomplished that morning.

When tossed a tennis ball signaling her turn during recall time, or “tiempo de recordar,” Citlali declared in English that she’d played with blocks. She passed the ball to Alli, who recounted in Spanish making lemonade in their classroom’s play kitchen.

Letters to immigrant students tell a teacher’s story of sacrifice
At 13, Emily Francis was living in a hand-built shelter and raising her younger siblings on the outskirts of Guatemala City.

Thirty years later, her life is very different. After a long and at times dangerous journey, Francis now teaches English as a second language at Concord High School.

In her new book, “If You Only Knew: Letters from an Immigrant Teacher,” she tells her story and speaks directly to immigrant students living similar experiences.

Active shooter hoaxes are spreading panic. Here’s how to fight back
‘These false alarms are far from harmless,’ says executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.

Frightening active shooter hoaxes are striking district after district this school year in a disturbing trend known as “swatting.” But one way school administrators may be able to spot the prank is by the number of calls received, suggest officials at the National Association of School Resource Officers.

How District Leaders Can Make Social Media Work for Them
For school and district leaders, social media can be a powerful platform.

It’s a way to directly connect with your K-12 community where they are, share the good work you’re doing, and even set the record straight about potential misconceptions.

It can also be a scary place, where everything you post is subject to public scrutiny.

Las Tienditas
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