I read this article and was excited to know that there is yet another strong proponent of public school education who feels as I do. Laura Elder, managing editor of the Galveston News, authored this piece titled, Investing in public schools is an investment in democracy. Her premise is that public schools are essential for our society to be able to manage and promote our democracy, much as Mirabeau B. Lamar, the Father of Texas Education, who stated, “The educated mind is the guardian genius of democracy. Laura Elder sees current bond issues during the pandemic as opportunities to invest in our democracy. I thought some of you might take this article as a model article for your schools and communities. - Thank you, Laura Elder - js - webmaster@texasisd.com read more arw

Congratulations to the following New Supers

Jeremy Strickland, High School Principal, Trenton ISD, has been named New Super of Trenton ISD .

 

28 Superintendent Vacancies Click to expand

Vacant Zavalla ISD; Search by: Arrow Educational Services adINFO
Vacant Glen Rose ISD; Search by: Arrow Educational Services adINFO
Vacant Mullin ISD; Search by: Leasor Crass, P.C. (search suspended)INFO
Vacant Rocksprings ISD; Search by: Larry Taylor and the Rocksprings ISD Board of TrusteesINFO
Vacant Denver City ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO
Vacant La Villa ISD; Search by: O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo in conjunction with Dr. Daniel King and Dr. Abelardo SaavedraINFO
Vacant Jarrell ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO
Vacant Burkburnett ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO
Vacant Texarkana ISD; Search by: Thomposon & Horton LLP - Dr. Mike Moses, David Thompson & Dr. Alfred RayINFO
Vacant Sam Rayburn ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO
Vacant Hardin ISD; Search by: Hardin ISD Board of TrusteesINFO
Vacant Ponder ISD; Search by: Leasor Crass, P.CINFO
Vacant Carroll ISD; Search by: Thomposon & Horton LLP - Dr. Mike Moses & David ThompsonINFO
Vacant Galveston ISD; Search by:
Thompson & Horton LLPINFO
Vacant Region One ESC Executive Director; Search by: Region One ESC Board of DirectorsINFO
Vacant Industrial ISD; Search by: Region 3 ESCINFO
Vacant Queen City ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO
Vacant Aransas County ISD; Search by: Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle P.C.INFO
Lone Finalist Randolph Field ISD - Brian Holt, Superintendent,Booker ISD; Search by: Education Solutions and Services adINFO
Lone Finalist Ector ISD - Jennifer Morris, Elementary Principal,Ector ISD; Search by: ECISD Board of TrusteesINFO
Lone Finalist Celina ISD - Dr. Tom Maglisceau, Assistant Superintendent,Rockwall ISD; Search by: Celina ISD Board of Trustees adINFO
Lone Finalist Galena Park ISD - Dr. John C. Moore, Associate Superintendent,Galena Park ISD; Search by DRV Executive Services, Fred Rush & Dale DixonINFO
Lone Finalist Marlin ISD - Dr. Darryl J. Henson, Assistant Superintendent,Cedar Hill ISD; Search by: Educational Solutions and Services, Mike Smith & Letha HopkinsINFO
Lone Finalist Grand Prairie ISD - Linda Ellis, Interim Superintendent,Grand Prairie ISD; Search by: Leasor Crass, P.C.INFO
Lone Finalist South San Antonio ISD - Marc Puig, Superintendent,Beeville ISD; Search by: O'Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo & Moak, Casey & AssociatesINFO
Lone Finalist Wharton ISD - Dr. Michael J. O'Guin, Assistant Superintendent,Hays CISD; Search by: Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle P.C. ​with Gary PattersonINFO
Lone Finalist Holliday ISD - Cody Carroll, Superintendent,Krum ISD; Search by: Holliday ISD & Region 9 ESCINFO
Lone Finalist Center ISD - Dr. Brian Morris, Superintendent,Columbus ISD; Search By Jim Largent, Largent Consulting Services, LLCINFO
Lone Finalist Brenham ISD - Dr. Taylor Chaplin, Superintendent,Burkburnett ISD; Search by: Karczewski Bradshaw SpaldingINFO
Lone Finalist Skidmore-Tynan ISD - Richard B. Waterhouse, High School Principal,George West ISD; Search by: Doug Arnold & Arte AlmendarezINFO
Lone Finalist Nederland ISD - Dr. Stuart Kieschnick, Assistant Superintendent,Nederland ISD; Search by: Dr. Danny Lovett, Dr, Byron Terrier, Marianne Kondo, Region 5 ESCINFO
Lone Finalist Kingsville ISD - Cissy Reynolds-Perez, Assistant Superintendent,West Oso ISD; Search conducted by O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo with Dr. Abelardo Saavedra and Dr. Daniel KingINFO
Lone Finalist Booker ISD - Gary Mills,Perryton ISD; Search by: Educational Solutions and Services, Mike Smith & Letha HopkinsINFO
New Super Edcouch-Elsa ISD - Dr. Greg Rodriguez; Search by: O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo in conjunction with Dr. Daniel King and Dr. Abelardo SaavedraINFO
New Super Quanah ISD - Tom Johnson, Principal,Shallowater ISD; Search By: Education Solutions and Services adINFO
New Super Trenton ISD - Jeremy Strickland, High School Principal,Trenton ISD; Search by: Trenton ISD Board of TrusteesINFO
New Super White Deer ISD - Scott Lucas, Principal,Whiteface ISD; Search by: White Deer ISD Board of Trustees & Region 16INFO
New Super La Porte ISD - Walter Jackson, Superintendent,Brenham ISD; Search by: Thompson & Horton LLPINFO
New Super Texas City ISD - Dr. Melissa Duarte, Assistant Superintendent,Goose Creek ISD; Search By: Texas City ISD - Thompson & Horton LLPINFO
New Super Executive Director
Fast Growth School Coalition
- Dr. Greg Smith, Superintendent,Clear Creek ISD; Search By: Dr. Mike MosesINFO
New Super Tuloso-Midway ISD - Rick Fernandez, Assistant Superintendent,Tomball ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search Services adINFO
New Super Ralls ISD - Dr. Nathan Maxwell, Associate Superintendent,Pampa ISD; Search by: Ralls ISD Board of Trustees Assitsted by Region 17 ESCINFO
New Super Shallowater ISD - Dr. Anita Hebert, Assistant Superintendent,Magnolia ISD; Search by: Region 17 ESCINFO

Purging water system of brain-eating microbe to take 60 days

September 2908:41 AM
 

LAKE JACKSON, Texas (AP) — A Houston-area official said Monday it will take 60 days to ensure a city drinking water system is purged of a deadly, microscopic parasite that doctors believed killed a boy and that led to warnings for others not to drink tap water.  Lake Jackson City Manager Modesto Mundo said that three of 11 samples of the city’s water indicated preliminary positive results for the naegleria fowleri microbe. Mundo said Lake Jackson residents are still urged to boil their tap water before using it.  One sample, Mundo said, came from the home of Josiah McIntyre, the 6-year-old boy whom doctors said died earlier this month after being infected with the brain-eating parasite. view article  arw

Dallas ISD Releases Its Dashboard of Active COVID-19 Cases

September 2908:41 AM
 

The Dallas Independent School District last night published a dashboard that will allow you to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 by school, ZIP code, and trustee district. It’s easy to use and contains simple visuals to go with the numbers. At lunchtime on Friday, there were 39 total cases districtwide. Of those, 30 are students and nine are staff.  It was released in time for the first day that students can begin returning to campuses, which will happen on Monday. Some special education students have already returned. Elementary and middle schools will open for five-day schedules while high schools will have a hybrid arrangement that will stagger students.    (29) view article  arw

Conservator Crabill Tells DeSoto ISD To Take CAP Seriously

September 2908:40 AM
 

There were three citizen comments at the DeSoto ISD Board meeting on September 28. Mr. Entaune Tyson began by saying the district is moving in right direction but academics are still a concern. He said if you do not continue to improve he will consider sending his children elsewhere in the future.    .(29) view article  arw

Federal appeals court temporarily blocks ruling that reinstated straight-ticket voting in Texas

September 2908:40 AM
 

A federal judge's ruling temporarily reinstating the practice of one-punch voting has been put on a temporary hold as judges on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals weigh the issue.  A federal appeals court on Monday put a temporary hold on a lower court’s ruling last week that reinstated the practice of straight-ticket voting, again casting into uncertainty whether Texas voters will have the option in the Nov. 3 election to vote for every candidate of a political party with one punch. A final ruling is expected after the court weighs the arguments more thoroughly. Straight-ticket voting was set to end this year in Texas, bringing the state in line with much of the rest of the country, under a law passed in 2017 by the Legislature. But on Friday, a federal judge ordered the state to reinstate the practice, writing that one-punch voting would speed up the voting process and decrease the time that in-person voters would be at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.  Early voting is set to start Oct. 13, leaving election administrators little time to make major changes to voting procedures.    (29) view article  arw

Raise Your Hand Texas leading charge for COVID-19 relief for public schools

September 2905:00 AM
 

Since COVID-19 reached Texas, public schools have had to use money not previously budgeted for the pandemic to purchase the necessary equipment, such as laptops, personal protective equipment, and new online learning programs, to meet standards set forth by the Texas Education Agency.  Teachers have had to learn how to teach in this new environment on the fly.  State of the district: Cy-Fair ISD officials recap COVID-19 precautions  “A lot of teachers are struggling right now because of a mechanism of how our schools are funded when it comes to attendance,” Robert Long, regional director for advocacy and outreach for Raise Your Hand Texas, said. “They’re having to teach in person and virtual students at the same time. It’s not the district’s fault, it’s a mechanism of school funding and how we get our schools funded through attendance.”    (29) view article  arw

Port Arthur:  Former PAISD superintendent releases debut book, receives honor from Texas State

September 2904:00 AM
 

Growing up in segregated Austin, Johnny Brown envisioned equality would one day mean equality for all.  “I wonder, and I continue to wonder, about the reason people treat others a certain way based on [social] class,” Brown said. “I thought about what role I could play to influence society to help people enjoy a better quality of life and stuff like that.”  Brown did play a key role in the history of what is now Texas State University in nearby San Marcos, becoming the first black student-athlete at the school and playing basketball there for three seasons. He then began a long career in education, including a run as the first head varsity basketball coach at the present L.C. Anderson High School in Austin and eventually Port Arthur Independent School District superintendent from 2006-13..    (29) view article  arw

Texas officials rescind data on COVID spread in school districts

September 2801:26 PM
 

Texas officials were again forced to adjust incorrect coronavirus data on Friday, retracting a spreadsheet detailing coronavirus cases in public schools after the state identified “issues” with the information it contained.  The Department of State Health Services and the Texas Education Agency jointly published the spreadsheet, which provides the public with information on coronavirus cases by school district, on Thursday. It came a week after the agencies launched a new dashboard to report positive COVID-19 tests in public schools.  The spreadsheet had discrepancies that were apparent immediately - while the dashboard reported about 6,300 coronavirus cases on the dashboard in total, the district-level spreadsheet counted more than 6,700 cases. School districts also questioned the accuracy of the numbers, reporting incorrect numbers for enrollment and coronavirus cases.    (29) view article  arw

Joyner: MISD can’t afford a reactive superintendent

September 2805:00 AM
 

What do you want to see in a new superintendent? Please explain where you think previous superintendents have succeeded and failed. Lastly, to what lengths would you go to make sure the right person is brought to Midland (salary, guaranteed number of years, etc.)?  I believe that selecting a superintendent is the single most important role of a school board member. This decision will directly impact our student outcomes and will be a vital step in improving MISD. Turning education around in our community will require a strong leader in the superintendent role. That person must be an authentic educator who has an enthusiasm for learning, children and people.   view article  arw

New Template Release 6 dated 9/21/2020

September 2408:41 AM
 

Omar Garcia with BOK Financial Securities has a new release (Release 6 dated 9/21/2020) that is now available for download.  This new release loads the 19-20 ESSER ADA and all other COVID ADA/FTE student counts, along with other miscellaneous data.  Other tabs are added and other updates have been made (see Notes tab).  As always, please stay tuned for any new developments – there will probably be some.    (25)

November 2020 Bond List

September 1708:45 AM
 

Bond Election Data collected by TexasISD.com for public school bonds in the upcoming November 2020 election cycle.

Preventive Law: Trustees: Closed Session Should Not Be “The Room Where It Happened”

September 0408:45 AM
 

No, not John Bolton’s book. Ambassador Bolton’s book title comes from the song from the musical Hamilton. “The Room Where it Happens,” tells the story of the secret meeting between Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Madison, that led to Washington DC becoming our nation’s capital in exchange for a federal financial system designed by Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Yes, I admit that I am a history junkie and a Hamilton groupie: I love the musical and actually have visited Hamilton’s home (Hamilton Grange) in New York City, his grave (Trinity Church Cemetery), Weehawken (the duel location), and even visited Aaron Burr’s grave (Princeton, NJ).

Bryan ISD Teacher Appreciation Week

September 2901:43 PM
 

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “We don’t want to wait until May to tell our teachers how much we appreciate them,” says Bryan ISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck, “the timing is right now.”  That’s why the administrative staff at Bryan ISD is inviting the community to help them thank their teachers who have gone above and beyondthe call of duty to continue educating our children during a pandemic.  So Monday, Sep. 28, through Friday, Oct. 2, the administrative staff of Bryan ISD is coordinating a community effort to thank teachers for their unwavering efforts. view article  arw

Texas Department of State Health Services withdraws data on school infections, citing “issues”

September 2908:41 AM
 

The vast majority of known coronavirus cases among Texas public school students who have returned to classrooms in person this school year were found in older students, new state data released Thursday shows.  According to the data, which includes self-reported, test-confirmed cases from hundreds of school districts across the state, 69% of infected students were in grades seven through 12, while just 15% were in grades four through six and 16% in grade three or lower. Experts say that split makes sense, since there is some evidence that older students are more likely to be symptomatic and thus more likely to be tested. view article  arw

Low-income families more likely to choose virtual learning, data shows

September 2908:40 AM
 

Our analysis shows low-income families are more likely to choose virtual learning for their children rather than to send them to campus this year.  Low-income families are more likely to choose virtual learning for their children rather than to send them on campus this fall, according to a KHOU 11 analysis of records from 10 Houston-area school districts.  Under the Texas Public Information Act, we received data from Clear Creek ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Humble ISD, Katy ISD, Klein ISD, Lamar CISD, Pasadena ISD, Spring ISD and Spring Branch ISD that includes the preferred learning method for nearly 550,000 students. view article  arw

Bulletin Board

Submit Event »

Eichelbaum Wardell Hansen Powell & Muñoz, P.C.

Legal Issues for School Secretaries Virtual Conference

October 2020

Join us for a 3-day virtual conference to prepare your school’s secretary, and first line of defense, with important and helpful information they can use every day. Provide practical methods for handling issues with legal implications a school’s front office frequently confronts.

 

Sessions run from 9:30 to 11:00 am on October 13, 14, and 15.

 

Every registered attendee will receive a recording of each session.

 

October 13, 2020

  • Admission and Enrollment
  • Residency
  • Attendance

October 14, 2020

  • Family Issues
  • Child Abuse
  • Sex Offenders
  • Student Records

October 15, 2020

  • Social Media
  • First Amendment
  • Bullying
  • Fingerprinting
  • Harassment
  • Search and Seizure

 

These sessions will be presented by Andrea Mooney and Heather Rutland.

 

Who Should Attend

School Secretaries, PEIMS Administrators, Office Managers, Attendance Clerks, Counselors

 

Please Note

A purchase order is not required for registration, but a check or PO must be received on or before the day of the seminar for admission. Please type “pending” when registering without a PO. We also accept credit card payments online.

 

Materials

Materials will be mailed to each registered attendee. Please provide the mailing address on the registration form.

 

Registration Fee

$195 per person

 

Register Now!

Sara Leon & Associates, LLC

ESC2 FALL 2020 PERSONNEL SERVICES SYMPOSIUM

A live, interactive webinar on current personnel management issues

October 6, 2020   8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost:  $75 for members of the ESC2 Personnel Services Advisory Cooperative; $100 for non-members.  The registration includes copies of written materials.

Addressing Employee Issues  in the COVID-19 Era

Morning Session:  Join attorneys John Janssen and Michelle Alcala of Sara Leon & Associates, LLC, as they guide you through various thorny issues that may arise as school district administrators manage employees in the COVID-19 era, such as managing leaves and absences, performance documentation, and terminating the employment relationship.  Topics to be emphasized, among others, include:

  • Managing Leaves and Absences in the COVID-19 Era:  EFMLA, EPSL, FMLA and the ADA
  • Handling Employee Complaints and Grievances Related to COVID-19 
  • Effective Performance Documentation
  • Taking Adverse Employment Action and Terminating the Employment Relationship

Compliance with the New Title IX Regulations

Afternoon Session:   Attorneys John Janssen and Michelle Alcala, who have trained numerous school district administrators in Texas on the new Title IX Regulations, will review how the new regulations affect school district personnel and sexual harassment complaints in the workplace and address issues emerging since the regulation went into effect on August 14, 2020.  Topics to be highlighted, among others, include:

  • Training and Posting Requirements of the New Regulations:  The Importance of Educating Employees on Their Responsibilities and Tracking Employee Compliance
  • The New Definition of Sexual Harassment:  What This Means for Employees
  • Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment, the New Grievance Process, and the Roles of the Title IX Coordinator, Decision-Makers and other Title IX Personnel
  • Selected Issues in Responding to Sexual Harassment Complaints in both Employment and Student Contexts

To register, please contact:
Melissa Morin of Region 2 Education Service Center:
melissa.morin@esc2.us 
(361) 561-8416

View Bulletin Board »

‘Do Not Use’ water advisory lifted for Lake Jackson residents while boil order remains

September 2908:40 AM
 

LAKE JACKSON, Texas (KTRK) -- The city of Lake Jackson has lifted a Do-Not-Use Advisory for water customers while a Boil Order remains in place. The change comes as state and city officials worked to flush and disinfect the city's system after tests revealed the possible presence of a brain-eating amoeba in three water samples. The earlier advisory urged residents not to use water for cooking, bathing or drinking. The updated guidance lifted those restrictions and was part of a planned transition to bring the water system back to normal, TCEQ officials said. view article  arw

Spring Hill ISD school board approves shortened weekly schedule

September 2908:40 AM
 

The weekend will start a little earlier at Spring Hill ISD starting Oct. 9.  On Monday, trustees approved shortening the instructional week to end with a half day on Fridays to give teachers more time to prepare for the next week of instruction.  Superintendent Wayne Guidry said the action will provide more quality lessons and enhanced student engagement.  “50% of teachers are spending 11 or more hours outside the work week to do lesson planning and other work, and we aren’t paying them a dime of overtime,” he told the school board during their scheduled meeting. “The look on teachers’ faces right now is the look we see in May, and it’s disheartening.” view article  arw

Austin ISD enrollment down by 5,000 students to start 2020-21 school year

September 2908:40 AM
 

Following a year in which Austin ISD saw its student enrollment rise for the first time since 2012, the district is now estimating a decline of more than 5,000 students for the 2020-21 school year, which would bring enrollment down to about 75,000.  During a presentation to trustees Sept. 28, AISD Chief Business Officer Larry Throm said the enrollment decrease could result in $48 million in lost state revenue if numbers do not begin to trend upward as the school year continues.  “We don't want to alarm anybody,” he said. “These are facts, and we'll wait to see it in another two weeks where we are taking attendance daily to see if we can improve on these numbers.”  According to district data, AISD’s enrollment as of Sept. 25 has dropped to 75,001, compared to 80,261 in the 2019-20 school year. view article  arw

Austin ISD staff resign, pledge to stay home when on-campus classes begin Oct. 5

September 2908:40 AM
 

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Members of the Austin Independent Board of Trustees discussed the ongoing community tensions at the board meeting Monday night as education groups have mounted increased pressure on the district to provide flexibility to its staff.  Board President Geronimo Rodriguez said Austin-Travis County Interim Health Director Dr. Mark Escott led a special presentation with Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the safety of reopening Oct. 5.  This major update comes as hundreds of teachers and staff have voiced their continued displeasure with the district’s decision to move forward with in-person learning. view article  arw

Tiny Wharton County school district cancels remote learning option, saying it has not been successful

September 2908:40 AM
 

Remote learning no longer will be an option for families in Louise ISD, a 530-student school district in Wharton County located about an hour and a half southwest of Houston along U.S. 59.  In a Sept. 22 letter to families, Superintendent Garth Oliver said online classes will not be offered starting Tuesday. He said while virtual learning had been billed as an option to engage students whose families feared COVID-19 spread in schools, “this approach has not been successful for more than a handful of students.”  “The effort required of our teachers and administrators will no longer be divided by the requirements of offering remote learning beginning Tuesday, September 29, 2020,” Oliver wrote. “If we begin to see health concerns develop, we will revisit this topic.” view article  arw

Educators fear widening gaps in a fragmented school year

September 2908:40 AM
 

Teachers across Galveston County have had to adapt their curriculums drastically this year to account for changes in learning techniques brought on by the pandemic, and some educators are worried that some students’ needs won’t be fully met, they said.  Many educators are worried the fractured nature of the school year will lead to some students — particularly those whose families are economically disadvantaged and have fewer resources — falling behind in the curriculum. Efforts to prevent that from happening have greatly altered teaching methods and ways the state assesses students and schools this year. view article  arw

Kaufman County school Superintendents collaborate to garner over $2 million for local students

September 2908:40 AM
 

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — In a historic pledge by Kaufman County commissioners this week, public school children county-wide will benefit from an initial $2 million dollars in federal CARES Act dollars that will be further maximized by grant funding thanks to the collaboration and hard work of local school superintendents.  In March Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. view article  arw

Analysis: Keep calm and vote on

September 2908:40 AM
 

Confused about voting? Voting clerks in parts of Texas are confused, too. All the political chatter about problems with the U.S. Postal Service and voting by mail has some election officials telling their voters to cast absentee ballots by bringing them to the main office instead of dropping them in the mail. They’re also telling voters to bring approved voter identification if they vote that way — just as if they were voting in person — and not to bring anyone else’s ballot, sealed or not. view article  arw

Sara Leon & Associates: THE LEGAL BRIEF: THIRD COURT OF APPEALS RULES AGAINST SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ALLEGING BREACH OF NON-DISCLOSURE CLAUSE OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT

September 2908:35 AM
 

On August 14, 2020, the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District (Austin), affirmed a lower court ruling that had granted Killeen Independent School District’s plea that the a former District teacher’s breach of contract claim be dismissed on the basis of governmental immunity. The teacher had sued Killeen ISD on the theory that the District breached a non-disclosure clause included in a 2016 settlement and resignation agreement between the teacher and the District, after another school district withdrew its offer of employment to the teacher upon learning of allegations against teacher (“of viewing inappropriate materials”) while he was employed by Killeen ISD. view article  arw

Investing in public schools is an investment in democracy

September 2908:35 AM
 

The U.S. public education system is our best defense against inequality and our best weapon in creating a stronger nation.  Voters should approve Dickinson’s bond package, knowing it’s an investment in their community and democracy. view article  arw

Top LYS Tweets – September 29, 2020

September 2908:30 AM
 

Lead Your School represents a cadre of educators from across the country that are driven to maximize student opportunities and to lead the profession by example and action. @LYSNation is one way to share information, ideas, and reflections with those incredible teachers and school leaders. These are the Top 10 tweets shared in the past... view article  arw

Of course the Fifth Circuit paused the straight ticket voting ruling

September 2908:30 AM
 

A federal appeals court on Monday put a temporary hold on a lower court’s ruling last week that reinstated the practice of straight-ticket voting, again casting into uncertainty whether Texas voters will have the option in the Nov. 3 election to vote for every candidate of a political party with one punch. A final ruling is expected after the court weighs the arguments more thoroughly.  Early voting is set to start Oct. 13, leaving election administrators little time to make major changes to voting procedures. view article  arw

Northside ISD parents must decide between in-person or virtual learning by Wednesday

September 2908:30 AM
 

SAN ANTONIO – Northside Independent School District parents and guardians must notify the district through a survey by midnight on Wednesday whether their child will do in-person or virtual learning.  The second quarter of school begins on Oct. 19, and the district says it’s prepared for more students.  “We have extra masks for students, some washable, reusable, some throw-away. We have gloves. We have face shields and everything for teachers. Whatever is needed, we have it. And we can provide it to them,” said Sandra Bonnett, executive director of elementary administration at Northside ISD. view article  arw

Abilene ISD board could approve nearly $1.1 million for new playgrounds

September 2908:30 AM
 

ABILENE, TX — The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees could vote to approve around $1.1 million to pay for new playgrounds for 13 elementary schools at their board meeting next Monday.  Playgrounds are a crucial part of a child's school day. They're where they make their first friends, get creative and use their imagination.   “You get to learn about their families and what they did over the weekend, and what they are interested in, and it's just a good time to get to know them as people," said Lee Elementary principal Melissa Scott.  The playground at Lee Elementary is well over a decade old, and most of the playground equipment is hand me down. view article  arw

Austin ISD designates Election Day as student holiday

September 2908:30 AM
 

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District is designating Election Day as a student holiday by moving an already scheduled holiday in October.  The AISD Board of Trustees approved the update to the 2020-21 calendar Monday. The update changes the Oct. 12 student holiday to Election Day on Nov. 3, a district press release said. view article  arw

13 Investigates: Politics, confusion as state updates plan for 5M Texas students

September 2908:30 AM
 

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of students logged on to remote learning as the Alief Independent School District offered a remote only start to the year. The Texas Education Agency gave school districts an eight-week transition period that allowed them flexibility to make back-to-school decisions locally, based on what's best for their communities.  For Alief ISD, who started classes on Aug. 6, that eight-week period of more local control is coming to an end as some students return to class in person this week.  Alief ISD's Superintendent HD Chambers said districts - with the input of health officials - should keep local flexibility, especially when it comes to how it'll offer classes and track student success. view article  arw

13 Investigates: Politics, confusion as state updates plan for 5M Texas students

September 2908:30 AM
 

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of students logged on to remote learning as the Alief Independent School District offered a remote only start to the year. The Texas Education Agency gave school districts an eight-week transition period that allowed them flexibility to make back-to-school decisions locally, based on what's best for their communities.  For Alief ISD, who started classes on Aug. 6, that eight-week period of more local control is coming to an end as some students return to class in person this week.  Alief ISD's Superintendent HD Chambers said districts - with the input of health officials - should keep local flexibility, especially when it comes to how it'll offer classes and track student success. view article  arw

40 percent of Corpus Christi ISD students have agreed to return to in person teaching

September 2908:30 AM
 

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — CCISD officials now see that 40% of its students throughout the district have agreed to return to in person teaching. That means there will be a larger number of students returning to the classroom on October 5 when CCISD moves into its next phase of its re-opening plan which calls for 100% of those students to be in class. view article  arw

Evadale ISD discontinues remote learning, citing cellphone signal and lack of participation

September 2908:30 AM
 

EVADALE, Texas — A Southeast Texas school district is discontinuing remote learning started by the COVID-19 pandemic.   Evadale ISD announced the district is discontinuing remote learning in a Facebook post Tuesday, Sept. 22.  "In the interest of providing the highest quality educational experience for students of Evadale ISD, along with the availability of usable cellular connections and the number of participating students, the remote learning program is being discontinued," the school district said in the post.  view article  arw

Race for Texas House majority has kept the contest for speaker quiet

September 2908:30 AM
 

No House members have declared their candidacy for speaker. Many say they have their sights set on November first as Democrats aim to flip the lower chamber.  State Rep. Senfronia Thompson fielded a question last week that’s been on the minds of many members of the Texas House: If her party wins control of the lower chamber in November, will she be a candidate for speaker?  “Well, if I can get James Frank’s support, I probably will be,” the Houston Democrat said with a chuckle during a Texas Tribune Festival panel, referring to her Republican colleague also on the screen.  Frank responded with a laugh of his own: “I’m pretty sure if Democrats take over in November … that she’ll be a candidate.” view article  arw