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HOUSTON – As the school year comes to an end, we can’t help but discuss the plethora of changes across the Houston Independent School District campuses, starting with the appointment of Superintendent Mike Miles. The Texas Education Agency said its goal was simple, to improve teacher effectiveness and better prepare the kids of HISD for the future. The problems in the district didn’t go unnoticed as several campuses were “underperforming” for years. But since the state takeover, has much changed? ‘I am concerned for my now former colleagues:’ Former HISD principal shares what he’s learning from employees view article arw

As the school year comes to an end many districts across Central Texas will now look to fill vacant positions for the upcoming year. In Del Valle ISD, District officials tell KXAN they are looking to fill 90 teaching positions. “Math and science has always been a huge need and now English, language arts, secondary teachers is a big need,” said Del Valle ISD Superintendent Annette Tielle. view article arw

As the school year comes to an end many districts across Central Texas will now look to fill vacant positions for the upcoming year. In Del Valle ISD, District officials tell KXAN they are looking to fill 90 teaching positions. “Math and science has always been a huge need and now English, language arts, secondary teachers is a big need,” said Del Valle ISD Superintendent Annette Tielle. view article arw

A Houston-area couple is in custody, accused of taking thousands of dollars from home renovation clients and never finishing the work. Aleck Steven Miller, 55, and Andrea Pierce Miller, 52, were contracted to complete home renovation projects across Katy, Friendswood, Sugar Land and Cypress. Investigators say the couple pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in payments for the work, and the jobs were never completed. view article arw

An appeals court has yet again dealt a blow to a controversial book-rating law that would have required Texas booksellers to individually rate books they sell based on whether the works contain depictions or references to sex.  The move came on April 16, when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-8 not to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ruled that the law, known as the Reader Act, was unconstitutional. view article arw

Houston ISD's state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles was the district's highest-paid employee this year, earning a $380,000 salary in his first year at the helm of Texas' largest school district. His predecessor, former Superintendent Millard House II, made $360,000 as HISD's top earner when he left the district last year. Miles' 12-person cabinet, along with select central office administrators and senior schools directors, round out HISD's 25 highest earners. Notably, 37 employees now earn at least $200,000, up from just 12 last year, according to Texas Education Agency staffing data. view article arw

Officials with Levelland ISD have opened up an investigation after allegations that district employees and students may have “engaged in misconduct.” A release from the school district did not specify the nature of the allegations. However, multiple employees were placed on paid administrative leave on Monday. On April 10, Levelland ISD leadership received the allegations and launched an internal investigation. The following day, local law enforcement was informed of the situation. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx — Hundreds ofCorpus Christi ISD(CCISD) teachers will receive a raise after earning respected designations through the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) process. Grounded in the Texas Education Code, the TIA was built for Texas schools to recognize teachers for outstanding performance in the classroom, offering them a pathway to a six-figure salary. The district said 1,026 teachers hoped to be on the list of educators that received a salary increase. However, only 305 of them made the cut. view article arw

An undisclosed number of teachers working at Great Hearts, a charter school with locations in San Antonio, have been placed on administrative leave after the Texas Education Agency found that background paperwork, including fingerprinting, had been improperly filed with the state.  In an email sent to parents earlier this week, interim superintendent of Great Hearts Texas Kurtis Indorf said the issues were discovered during a review of HR-related compliance measures by the agency, which is currently investigating the district. view article arw

Aspiring educators with a bachelor's degree, but no teaching certification, will soon have a new inroad to the classroom in Georgetown ISD after trustees approved an amendment to the District of Innovation plan.  During an April 15 board meeting, GISD administrators approved three amendments to the district's DOI plan. As a DOI, GISD can be exempted from some state laws listed in the Texas Education Code, said Wes Vanicek, the district's chief strategist for assessment and feedback, during an April 2 board workshop. However, the district cannot be exempt from federal laws, he said. view article arw

Following an executive session during their meeting on Monday, Brenham ISD trustees unanimously approved the hiring of Darrell St. Clair for the CFO position. His official start date is May 6th. A graduate of Texas A&M University, St. Clair taught for 13 years before transitioning into a CFO role in 2006. He joins Brenham from Snook ISD. A press release from Brenham ISD stated that St. Clair received an “A/Superior” rating from the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for 15 years. He holds certifications as a Registered Texas School Business Administrator, as well as TEA certifications in mathematics and computer information systems. St. Clair said he is “thrilled” to join the Brenham ISD team and looks forward to serving alongside the board, administrators and staff to “ensure fiscal responsibility and support student success.” Board President Natalie Lange said St. Clair’s “proven track record of fiscal responsibility and commitment to excellence will be invaluable as we work together to support the success of our students and staff.” Superintendent Clay Gillentine said Brenham ISD is “fortunate to have him as part of our team and look forward to the positive impact he will make.” view article arw

The suburban school district official reportedly created a hostile work environment and made sexual comments about coworkers' bodies and clothing.  A former Houston area school official is facing backlash after recent controversial comments emerged last week leading to his abrupt retirement. Former Humble ISD Athletic Director Troy Kite is being accused of creating a hostile work environment and making sexually explicit comments toward coworkers, according to a recent report by the Houston Landing.  view article arw

The management of the many substitute teachers who work for the Killeen Independent School District will be handled a little differently. The Killeen school board unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve an exclusive contract with ESS South Central, LLC for substitute staff placement, effective immediately. A nationally known company based in Paragould, Arkansas, ESS partners with school districts to provide full-service management of substitute systems. view article arw

Faced with a nagging mental health provider shortage, the state psychologists’ licensing board is looking into whether the state should devise its own exam to get professionals licensed more quickly.  On Thursday, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists moved to begin researching the cost of a cheaper state exam instead of requiring applicants to take a new $450 “skills” test offered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, known also as ASPPB.  Applicants already take a required $800 knowledge exam from the national board. The new skills exam was approved by the national board in 2016 but it notified states last October that it would now be required to complete certification by the national body.  Refusing to adopt this additional test would mean psychologists in Texas would be ineligible to use the existing exam, something the state licensing board has used to license psychologists here since 1965. view article arw

An Allen High School teacher is on “indefinite administrative leave” while police investigate allegations of inappropriate behavior with a student. Science teacher Albert Najera “potentially engaged in inappropriate interactions” with a high school student, according to a notice released by Allen Independent School District officials on Wednesday. The notice indicated that district officials learned of the allegations on the evening of April 9 and immediately notified Allen police, who are investigating. view article arw

The terms “diversity” and “equity” are used repeatedly in a program the Biden administration funded with federal taxpayer monies.  In October 2022, it was widely reported that the Biden administration gave Prairie View A&M University and Texas A&M a $12.2 million grant to develop a PreK-12 teacher and principal recruiting and training program. The number of prospective teachers for this program was set at 105, and the number of prospective principals at 60. Both universities are under the umbrella of the Texas A&M University System. view article arw

Over the past few years, Texas Hill Country school districts have grown alongside the rising population. One district is now considering approving staffing needs for next school year. view article arw

A teacher at Cy-Fair High School has been arrested and accused of having sex with a student on multiple occasions. The allegations were brought to light when Burbank’s girlfriend found text messages between him and the student on his phone. view article arw

A Cy-Fair ISD teacher resigned Tuesday after being accused of having an improper relationship with a student. The district identified the teacher as Kayden Burbank. He taught at Cy-Fair High School. Burbank was placed on administrative leave on April 2 after campus administration became aware of allegations that he was having an improper relationship with a student. Burbank then resigned on April 9. view article arw

Dr. Kade Griffin has been selected as the next principal of La Porte High School.   The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment on Tuesday. Dr. Griffin’s official start date is this summer, though he will spend time on the La Porte High School campus prior to then so that he can meet the staff and students.   Dr. Griffin will succeed Carlin Grammer, who recently announced his retirement. The district has already begun its search for his successor at Lomax Jr. High School, where he has successfully served as principal for the past six years. view article arw

Kedria Grigsby, 42, a cosmetology teacher at Klein Cain High School was arrested Monday, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, via X (formerly known as Twitter), along with her son, Roger Magee, 21. The latter was arrested back in November 2022 for trafficking and prostitution. view article arw

Paris ISD names new principal for 2024-25 at Justiss Elementary School - Dustin Smyers has been named by the Paris Independent School District as principal at Justiss Elementary School for the 2024-2025 school year, following the retirement of Renee Elmore. Elmore plans to retire from Paris ISD at the end of this school year, with 20 years in the district and 18 years as an assistant principal and principal at Justiss Elementary. Having dedicated two decades to the district, with the majority of her tenure as principal, Elmore’s leadership style has been instrumental in fostering a nurturing environment where students not only succeed academically but are also encouraged to pursue their dreams. view article arw

Arlington ISD is poised to cut 275 jobs as the expiration of COVID lockdown-era relief funds looms. The nearly 300 soon-to-be eliminated positions have been subsidized through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, a taxpayer-funded program that assisted schools during the lockdowns, reported The Texan. view article arw

An employee with the Rio Grande City Grulla school district was arrested Wednesday and accused of faking an injury on school grounds to obtain workers' compensation, records show. An affidavit released to Channel 5 News shows Yadira Montalvo was charged with fraud to obtain workers' comp following an investigation from the district’s police department. view article arw

As district administrators are crafting a budget for fiscal year 2024-25, they said they are looking for ways to improve compensation for all employees. A new report on compensation from the Texas Association of School Boards has revealed where the district can improve compensation to be more competitive with other area districts to retain more employees. At the same time, they are working to reduce the shortfall projected for the upcoming fiscal year. view article arw

Eanes ISD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion advisory committee has been making strides to increase cultural awareness across the district, despite pushback that is occurring at the higher-education level. DEI committee co-facilitators Dianne Parks, West Ridge Middle School principal, and Monique Payne-Pikus, a West Ridge parent, provided updates on what the committee has implemented throughout the past year during the regular board of trustees meeting March 26. A closer look The 31-member DEI advisory committee consists of parents, students, staff and community members who work to enhance racial, religious, gender, culture, ability and economic awareness through meetings, events and conversation. view article arw

Dallas school leaders expect to cut central staff positions ― while also raising teacher salaries — as they build a budget that accounts for enrollment declines and stagnant state funding. Some campus teaching positions in classes that are under-enrolled will be cut, though a specific figure was not presented during a Tuesday budget workshop. view article arw

As district administrators are crafting a budget for fiscal year 2024-25, they said they are looking for ways to improve compensation for all employees. A new report on compensation from the Texas Association of School Boards has revealed where the district can improve compensation to be more competitive with other area districts to retain more employees. At the same time, they are working to reduce the shortfall projected for the upcoming fiscal year. view article arw

Last year, the number of students who received a zero on their State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) writing questions raised an alarm among educators. The cause for concern stemmed from the new changes to the test, such as online testing and new types of questions. The new STAAR 2.0 redesign also indicates a shift toward machine-driven evaluation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the education sector. This has led to debates among teachers about transparency, algorithm bias, and the impact of these changes on both teaching and learning. They also consider that automated scoring may lead to the widening of inequities in education, as such scoring methods are dependent on data. view article arw

With budget challenges ahead, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) is focused on which positions it can eliminate. District leaders gave the community and Board of Trustees a preliminary 2024-25 budget with a potential $60 million deficit looming. During Thursday night's meeting, Austin ISD officials said their first goal is to reduce and cut expenditures by $30 million. While the cuts would not lead to a balanced budget, officials said it would get them closer to where the district feels "comfortable." view article arw

Dallas city voters may be asked to consider approving ranked-choice voting for future municipal elections, even though the controversial process is not allowed by state law. Ranked-choice voting is among dozens of city charter changes under consideration by a 15-member Charter Review Commission that could show up on Dallas voters’ November ballot. The charter amendment was suggested by commission member David de la Fuente, who represents District 1. His amendment proposes switching the City of Dallas “away from a runoff system to a ranked choice voting system once state law permits.” According to de la Fuente, his proposed charter language is identical to what the City of Austin put in its city charter “after vetting by their attorneys and approval by their voters.” view article arw

Houston ISD officials plan to reduce or remove several stipends for extra work of up to $2,500 for district employees in the 2024-25 academic year, according to its proposed compensation plan. HISD released its compensation plan for the upcoming school year in early March, outlining the annual base salaries for all of the district’s employees and the incentives and stipends they are eligible to earn. The district offers stipends for duties that are unrelated to an employee’s primary job, such as working days outside of their normal schedule. While many stipends will remain next year, the district no longer lists stipends for several positions, including academic coaches, teacher mentors, speech and debate sponsors and department chairs. view article arw

Pay for all Plano ISD staffers is going up. view article arw

Plano ISD trustees unanimously approved a plan to give teachers raises starting next school year. The recommendation includes a 3 percent bump in salaries. It will also begin new teacher pay at $61,000 and compress the salary schedule, which dictates how much teachers make based on their experience. view article arw

The Academy Independent School District has announced its new Assistant Superintendent. The appointment of Dr. Calvin Itz was announced early Wednesday afternoon. The district says he has an extensive educational leadership and human resources background, in addition to a wealth of experience and a dedication to fostering excellence in education view article arw