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May 24, 2024

HISD Board Backs Up Miles and OKs Massive Principal and Teacher Firings

(Houston Press) The Board of Managers voted in another lengthy session that started Thursday afternoon and went into the wee hours to fire every teacher, principal and custodian that Superintendent Mike Miles wanted them to. Be they longtime HISD employees, teachers or principals of the year, loved by parents and students, or guardians of high-performing schools — it didn’t matter.

When will HISD teachers get renewal contracts? District officals say June 1

(Houston Chronicle) Houston ISD expects to finish sending teacher contracts by June 1, leaving educators waiting until almost the last day of school to know whether they can return next academic year.

Dallas school trustees pass budget that cuts hundreds of staff positions

(Dallas Morning News) The Dallas school board approved a roughly $1.9 billion budget Thursday that cuts hundreds of central staff and campus-based positions, while still providing a pay bump for teachers.

Fate of lawsuit filed by Black Texas student punished over hairstyle in hands of federal judge

(AP) A federal judge did not issue an immediate ruling on Thursday after hearing legal arguments over whether to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Black high school student who has alleged racial and gender discrimination over his months long punishment by his Texas school district for refusing to change his hairstyle.

Goals outlined for Carroll ISD civil rights negotiations

(Community Impact) As Carroll ISD parents and students wait for the district to negotiate with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights over an ongoing civil rights investigation, the groups have outlined the resolution they hope to achieve.

MAP: Which school districts have increased teacher pay for the 2024-25 school year?

(KXAN) There are 58 districts in the KXAN viewing area, from Mason ISD in the west to Fayetteville ISD in the east. So far, 18 of those districts have announced new salaries for the upcoming school year.

Pastors’ group demands Valley schools remove ‘inappropriate’ books

(myRGV) A pastors’ group is standing behind a new state law and is requesting Rio Grande Valley school boards remove a list of books they describe as containing graphic sexuality from their library shelves. And if they don’t get their way, the group is threatening to file lawsuits.

VERIFY: Yes, Texas education money can go toward out-of-state charter schools

(KHOU-11) Thousands of people across social media platforms questioned the legality of shifting Texas educational funds to go toward charter schools outside of the state. The comments included questions directly to KHOU are reaction to a news report alleging the charter school system, which current HISD Superintendent Mike Miles founded, used Texas education dollars to support charter schools in Colorado.

Plano ISD school closure plan concerns parents of deaf students

(Fox 4 KDFW) Parents say closing Davis Elementary School would rip apart the deaf and hearing culture that staff has carefully knit together over the course of decades.

Documents detail how Texas’ DEI ban is changing university campuses

(Texas Tribune) In an update to lawmakers, university system leaders expressed worries about how the ban might affect crucial applications for federal funds.

DeSoto AAU track coach charged with solicitation of 16-year-old athlete

(Fox 4 KDFW)) Police say Anthony Adkison sent sexually explicit messages to the 16-year-old, not knowing her father had possession of her phone.

North Texas Teacher Arrested for Assaulting 4-year-old Child

(Texas Scorecard) Linda Dueer was allegedly caught swinging the child against the wall and slapping him.

Leander ISD employee on leave following ‘inappropriate’ behavior during 8th-grade field trip

(KXAN) The school said there was an incident during a field trip where students reported the alleged inappropriate use of technology by a district employee.

Appeals court blocks fines against Texas for foster care failures

(San Antonio Express-News) A three-judge panel made clear that its order does not absolve the state of its responsibility to ensure timely and thorough foster care investigations. Instead, it pauses the $100,000 daily fines from a federal judge while the court considers the merits of the state’s argument against them.

El Paso court petition seeks removal of Canutillo ISD board president over DWI arrests

(KFOX 14) A petition was filed Wednesday with an El Paso County court to remove Canutillo Independent School District’s board president, based on three driving while intoxicated arrests dating back to 2013.

13 Investigates: Districts still need more officers as law calls for one per campus

(ABC 13) 13 Investigates found Texas school districts are still competing for qualified police officers to meet HB3’s mandate for one armed person per campus.

Uvalde families fought for gun safety reforms. Here’s what the Texas Legislature did

(Austin American-Statesman) On the second anniversary of the shooting, many of their requested policy initiatives remain unfulfilled and any forward movement is unlikely in the Republican-controlled state government.

Uvalde 2 years later: Where the investigation stands

(ABD News) In the two years since 19 students and two teachers were killed in the Robb Elementary School mass shooting, some families of the 21 victims killed continue to search for answers and seek justice.

How many school shootings have there been since Uvalde? Here’s what US data shows

(Austin American-Statesman) There have been approximately 652 school shooting incidents since Uvalde, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database, which was created and is maintained by David Riedman, a researcher who tracks gun violence in schools.

After protest, University of Houston student fees to fund athletics, more mental health services

(Houston Chronicle) University of Houston student fees will subsidize both athletics and new mental health resources next year, in what administrators called a “rare win-win” after students objected to President Renu Khator’s move to use such a high percentage of student fees for athletics.

Parker County mom charged after son’s gun used in shooting of 13-year-old

(Fox 4 KDFW) A Parker County woman has been arrested after her son’s friend got hold of a handgun and shot a 13-year-old in her home.

Dallas ISD teacher surprised with $10,000 on The Jennifer Hudson Show

(Fox 4 KDFW) In the past, Joe May Elementary School teacher Marcus Bornslatter, Bornslatter funded the supplies for his students out of his own pocket along with an online wishlist. Now, he has $10,000 to help with those supplies.

KIPP students jump in to help during two medical emergencies

(KXAN) Two students from KIPP Austin Collegiate are being praised after they jumped into action to help their teachers during two separate medical emergencies.

Lago Vista High School student dies after incident involving handgun

(KVUE) A Lago Vista High School student died after what the district said was an incident involving a handgun on Wednesday. There was no active threat to students, Lago Vista ISD (LVISD) said. 

DEA Task Force cracks down on fentanyl dealers in Laredo

(KGNS) The DEA Overdose Task Force, formed in 2023 due to a rise in overdose deaths, has been cracking down on drug sales in Laredo. The task force, made up of six agencies, has put in over 12,000 hours to combat the issue.

Texas GOP convention kicks off with party leaders attacking Speaker Dade Phelan

(Texas Public Radio) Party Chair Matt Rinaldi, Lt. Gov.Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton were the morning’s star speakers. All three of them called for a change of leadership in the Texas House.

The FBI kept investigating Ken Paxton after he beat impeachment. Will he face federal charges?

(Texas Public Radio) Paxton’s own attorneys have acknowledged the FBI is investigating him. But the federal government has not publicly confirmed the probe’s existence.

Southside playground’s $500K facelift prioritizes inclusivity, sparks imagination

(San Antonio Report) This summer, children of all abilities on San Antonio’s South Side will have access to a renovated playground at Arnold Park, with new equipment and shaded spaces encouraging social interaction and sensory and imaginative play.

Clear Creek ISD trustees approve computer coding course for all grades

(Community Impact) The district has awarded a contract of $110,000 with computer science curriculum program CodeHS Inc., according to district agenda documents.

Dripping Springs ISD implements braille course for visually impaired students

(Community Impact) o support a student with failing vision, the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees approved a new course that teaches braille, a writing system used by the visually impaired.

Mariachi group returns to Dallas College

(NBC DFW) After a 4-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Mariachi Leones returned this year to the Dallas College Mountain View Campus.

Cedar Hill elementary school teacher saves choking student’s life

(Fox 4 KDFW) Myla May’s last few weeks of second grade have been eventful and emotional. “I realize don’t eat while you’re talking, so I’ll never do that again.”

Link between e-cigarette use and early age of asthma onset in U.S. adults found through UTHealth Houston research

(UTHealth Houston) A significant link between the use of electronic cigarettes and earlier age of asthma onset in U.S. adults was reported by UTHealth Houston researchers today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.

Paso del Norte Health Foundation awards UTEP $4.5 million grant; all-abilities playground to open at Ascarate Park

(El Paso Matters) Here’s how the UTEP Health initiative will help better prepare health care graduates; plus more playgrounds for children of different abilities are coming to the Borderland.

She counted on her school’s LGBTQ resources. Texas’ anti-DEI law took some of them away

(KERA) UT Arlington student Seraphine Pecson utilized some of her school’s LGBTQ+ resources before the program was scaled back because of Senate Bill 17.

New funding will extend self-advocacy program for Chinese American families of children with developmental disabilities

(Texas A&M Health) A researcher with the Texas A&M University School of Public Health has been awarded $780,250 to extend her advocacy work with Chinese American families that have children with developmental disabilities into the Houston metroplex and the seven-county Brazos Valley region of Texas about 90 miles northwest of Houston.

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TRS Hires New Deputy Director

The TRS announced (May 7) that Caasi Lamb has been hired as the retirement system’s newest deputy director, with a scheduled start date of Monday, July 8, 2024. Lamb replaces Andrew Roth —…

TRS Sets 2024-25 ActiveCare Health Plan Rates

The TRS board during its May 2-3 meeting set TRS-ActiveCare health plan rates for school employees for the 2024-25 plan year — and started taking steps that will lead to beneficial health plan…

Summer Camps for Young Texas Historians

The Texas Historical Commission has posted a list of its youth camps for young historians that will be held at numerous locations throughout Texas this summer. The curated camps will offer hands-on experience,…

TEA Seeks Applicants for SBOE Parliamentarian

The TEA has issued a request for proposals (RFP 701-24-013) in a quest to contract with at least one experienced parliamentarian to assist the State Board of Education (SBOE) chair in conducting open…