TALAS E-newsletter – October 7

Posted on October 7th, 2021
Renew your membership today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
Superintendent Hinojosa to receive National Humanitarian Award from the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents
The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) has selected Superintendent Michael Hinojosa as one of 17 outstanding Latino leaders to receive an award for their education advocacy and leadership.

All seventeen of the honorees will be honored during the 18th Annual National Gala and Awards Dinner on Oct. 9 in Washington D.C.

Hinojosa was chosen to receive the ALAS National Humanitarian Award.

Austin ISD Seeing Results From Work On Cultural Proficiency, Social-Emotional Learning
While Austin ISD is being recognized across the nation for its work in social-emotional learning and cultural proficiency, the real effect is in the classroom. 

“What we’ve noticed in the classrooms is that kids have a better sense of identity, but more than that, they feel that the classroom is an identity safe space for them where they can be their full selves,” said Sara Freund, social-emotional learning and cultural proficiency and inclusivity specialist. 

North Texas Seeing Massive Shortages In Education: No Teachers, No Subs, No Cafeteria Workers
Some schools are combining classrooms with double the number of students. Students are seeing more of their teachers, and coaches, driving buses. And, office staff workers and administrators are pulling double duty subbing in classes.

The teacher shortage is partially due to the pandemic, but it’s much more. And, it’s a much bigger problem- it’s a shortage of employees in education across the board.

In East Texas, Cleveland ISD Needed Money. The State Sent Charter Schools Instead.
In many of Texas’s rapidly growing exurbs, such schools have been fast-tracked to keep pace with exploding student populations.

When Pine Burr Elementary School in Cleveland, about an hour northeast of Houston, opened its doors in August, the classrooms still smelled of fresh paint and carpet glue. The school was set to welcome 1,050 children, in a town where the student population has nearly doubled over the past five years. Within a month, however, the new facility was already projected to overflow, as Cleveland Independent School District welcomed an additional 400 students. Men wearing bright yellow construction vests installed a portable building just outside the spotless glass doors of the prekindergarten wing at Pine Burr, adding ten classrooms. It was the latest in an irruption of temporary classrooms—186 in all—cropping up at every campus in the district.

TALAS and other public school advocates submit comments on proposed changes to charter school performance framework
21 education and policy organizations, including TALAS, submitted comments on Monday to the TEA regarding proposed changes to the 2020 Charter School Performance Framework (CSPF) that were published in the Texas Register on September 3, 2021. The following ten people testified at Monday’s TEA hearing: SBOE member Georgina Perez, Ana Ramon from IDRA, Carrie Griffith from TSTA, Lori Kirkpatrick of Dallas (parent of a child with special needs), Ellen Williams for TASA and TASB, Dee Carney from the Texas School Alliance (TSA), Patty Quinzi from AFT, Steven Aleman from Disability Rights Texas, Kara Belew from TPCSA, and Denise Pierce from Schulman, Hoffer & Lopez law firm representing charter schools.

Visit the following links to read more:
Announcements
Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force Update
The Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, of which TALAS is a member, has published the following information sheet on the battle for fair redistricting
plans for Texas:
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
‘We Are Going to Hold You Accountable’: Just 1 in 5 Families Was Asked for Input into School Stimulus Fund Spending, New Poll Finds
Just 1 in 5 families has been asked for input into how their schools spend an unprecedented $122 billion in federal stimulus funds, despite a mandate that states and districts incorporate feedback from a broad array of community members, a new National Parents Union survey finds.

Middle- and upper-income families were more likely to say their schools solicited parent opinions than those with household incomes of less than $50,000 a year. Just 17 percent of low-income parents say they were asked how the money should be used, versus 28 percent of those earning $75,000 or more.

Districts Would Have to Show Equity for High-Poverty Schools Under Proposed Biden Rule
The Biden administration wants school districts to show that they’re treating their high-needs schools fairly when it comes to funding and staffing, under a proposed requirement related to the most-recent federal COVID-19 relief package.

The U.S. Department of Education’s proposal would require states to publish information about how each eligible school district is shielding those schools from disproportionate cuts in the next few years, as a condition of receiving funding under the American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed into law last March.

Teachers across America are fleeing in record numbers
The stresses of the pandemic is taking its toll on teachers.

Schools reopening are causing teachers to quit or retire because there has been a surge of COVID-19 outbreaks due to some states banning mask mandates.

There have been more than 200,000 reported weekly cases among children in the past five consecutive weeks, The Guardian reported. With some states having no mask mandates and low vaccination rates, the spread of infectious diseases is only made worse. 

Justice Department Says FBI Will Address Violent Threats Against School Leaders
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that the FBI will work with federal attorneys, as well as state and local leaders, to discuss strategies for countering threats against teachers, principals, school board members and other educators.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice announced plans to create a federal task force to address “the rise in criminal conduct towards school personnel” as school boards and other educators have faced anger and harassment in response to COVID-19 restrictions and other controversial issues in schools.

Can Latino students get ‘educational equity’ after the Covid pandemic?
As Latino educators met, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona touted Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. “We’ve often heard … that education is the great equalizer. Well, now’s our chance to prove it. “

Over the last couple of decades, Latino college enrollment had been rising. Latino graduation rates at the high school and college levels also were going up.

There was reason to believe education might finally start to deliver for Latinos as the great equalizer.

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!
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We are a team of parents, educators, and technologists. We recognize the challenges IT administrators and educators face each day. By empowering those who serve students, we can foster safe and focused learning environments, while keeping students healthy and engaged.

Always connected, always protected.

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