Eight of the school campuses initially identified for closure and consolidation under Austin ISD’s sweeping, multi-year School Changes process have had those plans stayed – for now. But four other campuses remain set to close over the next two years under the 2.0 version of School Changes, released Friday, Nov. 1; Metz, Sims, Pease, and Brooke elementary schools. The first two will close as was expected even before the School Changes train got moving; modernization projects at each receiving campus (Sanchez and Norman, respectively) are underway now, using 2017 bond dollars at a cost of $25 million each. The district’s decision to move forward with closing Pease is a major blow to the community there, which has rallied intense support behind an alternative plan to transform the Downtown site with a new structure alongside the historic building to accommodate more than 500 students.  view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has now recommended taking it over, something the state has never done on such a large scale. Ross Ramsey with the Texas Tribune joins us. view article arw

HEARNE — Every weekday, school buses emblazoned with “MUMFORD ISD” roll their way north on a winding farm-to-market road lined by sparse, tractor-dotted fields. They pick up children in neighboring Hearne and take them back to Mumford’s public schools. view article arw

Staff from the Austin Independent School District explained changes to the district's latest school closure plan at a town hall Saturday.  The second draft, released Friday, proposes going ahead with the closure of four elementary schools – Sims, Metz, Pease and Brooke – over the next two school years. The district is giving itself more time, however, to consider whether to close eight other schools that were on its original list. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — On Saturday, the public had their first opportunity to question the second proposed changes and school closures within the Austin Independent School District. Dozens of parents attended to ask questions on a number of topics, namely the closure of Pease Elementary School, potential closure of Brooke Elementary School, where the money saved from these changes would go and how these changes address the special education needs.  view article arw

On Friday, a new version of Austin ISD's school closure plan is expected to be released. This comes after the district named twelve schools for possible closure in August. Two months of parents and community feedback helped shape the new version.The day before the release of the list, some parents at Maplewood Elementary in East Austin shared their feelings with us about the possibility of their child’s school closing.  “It would really affect us because we were hoping he was going to be here for another five years,” said Tatiana Antonio. view article arw

School officials in Austin, Texas, have made changes to the sex-education curriculum for middle school students – and a lot of parents are not happy with the results.  Planned Parenthood, one of the backers of the new plan, called it “LGBTQ inclusive, science-based and much needed,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. view article arw

Corpus Christi ISD Superintendent Roland Hernandez praised the school district’s academic progress, construction projects and student achievements during the State of the District luncheon on Wednesday. The annual event, hosted at the American Bank Center, allows the superintendent to keep the public updated on the district’s progress and goals, and also serves as the main fundraiser for the district’s Education Foundation. The foundation awards grants to teachers for classroom programs, as well as student scholarships.  view article arw

HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District has filed a motion requesting a federal judge issue a preliminary injunction on a recommended state takeover of the school district, KPRC 2 learned Thursday.  The request, filed Tuesday, said an injunction was the district's only option to preempt an almost inevitable takeover by the Texas Education Agency.  view article arw

Students with Austin Independent School District are performing better than many other Texas students, according to a "national report card" from the National Assessment Governing Board. Students were required to take the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2019. It's a random test that's given every two years and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. view article arw

Following concerted opposition by parents, Montgomery ISD has decided to not consolidate its dual-language program for the 2020-2021 school year, a proposal that would have moved the program from two campuses into one. The district announced its decision Oct. 30 at two different dual-language parent meetings. The proposal was to move MISD's dual-language program, which is currently offered at Stewart Creek and Lincoln elementary schools, to one campus, Montgomery Elementary School. The program is intended for elementary school students who want to learn in both English and Spanish. view article arw

Fourth-graders in Texas saw larger gains on both math and reading than their peers nationwide, according to test results released Wednesday, but still lag far behind students in other states in their reading abilities. The news was more troubling for the state’s eighth graders, who saw their average math and reading scores fall farther behind their peers nationally. Reading continues to be a weak spot for the Lone Star State. Fourth-graders’ reading scores ranked 42nd in the nation, an improvement of three slots compared to the 2017 rankings. But eighth-graders were ranked 46th in the nation for reading this year, down five slots. view article arw

Lawyers for Houston ISD’s school board have asked a federal judge to preemptively stop the Texas Education Agency from stripping power from the district’s elected trustees and allow board members to select a permanent superintendent, the latest maneuver in a growing legal battle between the district and state.  In a motion filed Tuesday, the HISD board’s lawyers argued agency officials have discriminated against voters in predominantly black and Hispanic cities, overstepped their authority in suspending the district’s superintendent search and misinterpreted a new state law that requires dramatic intervention in districts with long-struggling schools. view article arw

Documentation from Pampa ISD indicates that on Nov. 6, 2018, 11-year-old Gabe Denson was restrained by five adults. He said it was his first day at Pampa Junior High School. "I was getting really frustrated, I put my head down and they said it was against the rules," Denson said. view article arw

Three schools from Frisco ISD will perform in the UIL Class 5A State Marching Band Contest, which will take place Monday and Tuesday in San Antonio. Lebanon Trail, Wakeland and Lone Star high schools qualified for the state contest after placing first, second and third, respectively, in the finals of the UIL Area B Marching Contest, which took place Oct. 28 in Little Elm. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency is recommending that the state take over Houston Independent School District — the state’s largest public school system — due to its elected school board’s “demonstrated inability to appropriately govern,” according to a 318-page final investigative report sent to lawmakers Wednesday.  TEA’s Special Investigations Unit Director Jason Hewitt found that school board members violated state open meetings law by discussing district business without notifying the public of their discussions, attempted to influence how contracts were awarded, and took action on district issues individually without consulting other board members view article arw

Texas' elementary and middle school students still lag in reading, according to a national report card out Wednesday. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, given every other year to a sample fourth- and eighth-grade students in reading and math, measures how states' students are performing over time compared with a national average. This year, Texas' fourth-grade math and reading scores stayed stagnant; eighth-grade scores stayed the same in math and dipped significantly in reading. White students in Texas are still outperforming black and Hispanic students in these tests. Texas this year scored around or below the national average in all categories except fourth-grade math, which was higher than average. view article arw

In a statement released Wednesday, Austin ISD Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz said the district is working on an updated version of its School Changes plan after hearing community feedback.  Cruz said in response to the concern the district has heard, AISD will work on a "phased timeline for School Changes that creates space for even deeper community conversations and planning." view article arw

The Austin school board unanimously approved a new sex education curriculum that, for the first time, will teach elementary students about sexual orientation, gender identity and sexually transmitted diseases. The vote, which came in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, had at least one conservative group considering legal action over the source of the learning materials. view article arw

In a Klein ISD board of trustees meeting Oct. 21, the district received the 2019 Population and Survey Analysts demographic study, in which it states kindergarten enrollment is not expected to continuously increase despite an increase in recent births, and student enrollment at charter schools will continue to grow. view article arw

A final report from the Texas Education Agency issued Wednesday again recommends replacing the Houston Independent School District's board of trustees with a panel of state managers. view article arw

A Texas Education Agency final investigative report, sent to lawmakers Wednesday evening, recommends the state appoint new leaders of Texas' largest school district.  The Texas Education Agency is recommending that the state take over Houston Independent School District — the state's largest public school system — due to its elected school board's "demonstrated inability to appropriately govern," according to a 318-page final investigative report sent to lawmakers Wednesday. view article arw

Read!  Students with mild learning disabilities who were kicked out of special education services were less likely to graduate high school or enroll in college, according to what appears to be the first academic study of how Texas’ now-discarded cap on special education services impacted children.  The study found that minority students paid a heavy toll under Texas’ controversial policies when they lost tailor-made special education plans designed to help them excel in the classroom.  Researchers at the University of California-Davis and Cornell University conducted their study after the Houston Chronicle revealed the Texas Education Agency told school districts in 2005 that only 8.5 percent of their students should receive special education services.  view article arw

Huffman ISD missed three days of school in mid-September due to Tropical Depression Imelda and the flooding that it caused across the Greater Houston area. The district has now finalized plans to deal with those missed school days. Per Texas Education Agency rules, Huffman ISD has to make up the two instructional days that it missed. Those days will be made up by converting the two bad weather days that were already in the schedule, Feb. 13 and April 13, to instructional days. view article arw

Higgins ISD could soon be consolidating with another school district. They will be meeting with Canadian ISD and Follett ISD to talk about the possibility of consolidating by next school year. view article arw

At a short meeting Oct. 28, the Clear Creek ISD board of trustees unanimously approved several targets for Superintendent Greg Smith to help the district fulfill its strategic plan. The plan, which began in 2014 and was originally supposed to conclude by the end of the 2018-19 school year but will actually finish by the end of this school year, includes seven strategies with action plans to meet those strategies. A new five-year strategic plan with five similar strategies will go into effect at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, district officials said. view article arw

Just a little get together with LYS, TASSP and 500 of our closest friends from across the country. Talking school, instruction and Astros baseball. Here are a couple of tweets from the sessions view article arw

There was a line down the sidewalk to get into the Austin Independent School District's school board meeting Monday. Under jackets and cardigans, many opponents wore red T-shirts with "AUSTIN SEXXX ED" circled and slashed out. During a raucous three hours from Monday night into Tuesday morning, about 100 people stepped up to the microphone for a minute each to explain to nine Austin school board members why they should or should not approve a new comprehensive sexual education program for third through eighth grade. view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has been investigating former Marlin Independent School District Superintendent Michael Seabolt since at least early September, but Seabolt said he still doesn’t know why.  Seabolt said the state education agency contacted him Sept. 4 to discuss his educator certificates and again on Oct. 7 to inform him that his educator certificates had been flagged. The second contact came days after the Tribune-Herald revealed a current board member has a criminal background that the TEA says it did not know about. view article arw

For the first time ever, the Freer Independent School District hosted a collaborative planning session Monday with teachers from their district as well as those from the Premont Independent School District. In a school district of only 800 students, the teachers of Freer ISD don't have as many peers to get feedback from, but that changed on Monday. view article arw

The arrest of a grandmother fighting the Tatum ISD dress code stemmed from continuing to send the 4-year-old boy at the center of the controversy to school after she was told he had been “unenrolled” and from discrepancies about who is actually the boy’s guardian, documents show. Edwina “Randi” Woodley, 51, was booked Friday into the Rusk County Jail on charges of child endangerment and perjury. She was released Saturday on $22,500 in bonds. view article arw

Keller ISD is seeking a partnership with a private or public entity in the community to provide full-day prekindergarten classes next year. A public hearing for partnership proposals and feedback was held at the district’s Oct. 28 school board meeting. No one spoke at the hearing. The drive behind this effort comes from a stipulation included in House Bill 3, which Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law back in June. School districts are now required to provide a full-day prekindergarten program for eligible students who are at least 4 years old, according to meeting documents. view article arw

With their constituents looking on, a pair of middle school opponents gave impassioned speeches about an issue near to their hearts — whether students should wear uniforms. Victoria Avila, 12, was pro-uniform. Daniel Alvarado Alfaro, 12, was anti-uniform. Backed by their campaign teams, they each took turns pleading their cases in front of fellow students at the East Side Branch Boys & Girls Club in advance of a mock election on the issue. view article arw

You've probably heard the quote, "We are the music makers." The students in Plano ISD's Rice Middle School live those words. Rice Middle School received distinction in every single category on its STARR tests, and educators said one of the secrets to the success is the school's commitment to music. view article arw

Montgomery ISD is facing concerted opposition from parents for its proposal to consolidate its dual language program for students who want to learn in both English and Spanish. A group of parents spoke at an Oct. 15 MISD board meeting to share their concerns with the district. The district is considering consolidating the program in the 2020-21 school year but had yet to reach a final decision as of press time, Director of Special Programs Jada Mullins said. view article arw