Raise Your Hand Texas, a public education advocacy group, called on local leaders Thursday to wisely use their share of supplemental federal education funds released by the state for the good of Rio Grande Valley school children as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan recently announced that Texas will start flowing $11.2 billion in federal stimulus dollars to local school districts. Another $5.5 billion is available for school districts once they post individual plans of action to the U.S. Department of Education for how they will utilize the $11.2 billion. view article arw

Richardson ISD is slated to receive nearly $70 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to help address unexpected costs incurred during the coronavirus pandemic.  Gov. Greg Abbott announced the release of $11.2 billion for Texas public schools from the third round of federal funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund in an April 28 press release. The funds will be dedicated to help districts address student learning loss and costs incurred during the pandemic. Due to federal requirements, just two-thirds of the funding is available immediately, Abbott said, through grants administered by the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

As the Texas Education Agency continues to guide districts to bring in more students for on-campus instruction, districts were tasked to bring in a percentage of students back to campus and ensure that they attended class for 10 days in a row as per the instructions by the agency. During the Monday LISD committee meeting, At-Risk Intervention Coordinator Cynthia Mendiola declared that of the 2,264 attendance projections for the start of the final six weeks, 2,475 students have returned to campus without being absent for the 10 days. Now that the district has met and exceeded the number of students set by the TEA, LISD will be eligible to be considered hold harmless. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO – School districts across Bexar County are planning how they will use millions of federal dollars heading their way. State leaders recently announced they are releasing $11.2 billion in federal pandemic relief funding to help public schools. “We are just very grateful that this funding is coming. There are so many needs for students. Sixty-one thousand students are going to come back to us in the fall, and we may not know what their invisible needs are -- whether they be mental health, social, emotional challenges or learning loss. And so we are very grateful to have this very important funding coming our way,” said Aubrey Chancellor, executive director of communications at North East ISD. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The Garland Independent School District is making an offer to North Texas families that it never has before. It’s giving students the opportunity to enroll in the district — even if they don’t live within its boundaries. view article arw

The latest revenue estimate doesn’t take into account all of the federal relief that has been sent to Texas over the past year by Congress through pandemic relief packages. State lawmakers have wrestled with how and who has the authority to spend that money.  Texas will close the books on its current budget cycle with an extra $725 million in the bank — which is welcome news as Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar had predicted in January that the state would suffer a $1 billion shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.    (04) view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Last week the Texas Education Agency released a second round of stimulus money for districts around the state.  According to the TEA Amarillo ISD is set to get another $24 million.   AISD Superintendent Doug Loomis said they do not have a specific plan in place for the money yet, but said they are looking to use it to help meet the needs of students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.    (04) view article arw

Overview of Charter Expansion Process and SB 28: The Texas legislature has imposed a hybrid approval process to approve the expansion of privately operated charter schools (“charters”). Existing charters may expand solely at the discretion of the appointed Commissioner of Education and new charters are also approved by the Commissioner; but are subject to veto by the State Board of Education (“SBOE”). view article arw

On Friday, four key leaders in education and government are gathering to discuss the impact of federal stimulus dollars that Texas schools will finally have access to. This comes after Gov. Greg Abbott and state leaders agreed to pass along billions of dollars from the federal government that was just sitting in Austin. It was just days ago that district leaders were pleading with state leaders to have access to that federal money, which totals $20 billion for Texas for schools. view article arw

Austin ISD will receive $156 million in two allocations after the State released more than $11 billion from the federal government to school districts across Texas.  Leaders with Austin ISD say they're not yet sure how they'll spend federal COVID-19 relief funds.  On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he's releasing more than $11 billion from the federal government to school districts across the state to address learning loss during the pandemic.  Austin ISD Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde said they're still trying to figure out the rules attached to the money. They also want to hear ideas from local stakeholders. view article arw

Chapter 313, a decades-old law designed to lure companies to Texas with property tax breaks, expires in 2022. Lawmakers looking to renew it face opposition from critics who say it's unfair to many Texas schools. view article arw

With the prop of a very tall three-legged stool next to him, Ector County Independent School District Superintendent Scott Muri announced the pending receipt by the district of $55.9 million in federal stimulus funds Thursday in the foyer of Permian High School. The funds will be spent over a three-year period. Noting that the ECISD Board of Trustees, members of the community, business leaders and others had pushed for it, Muri thanked Gov. Greg Abbott and members of the state House and Senate for letting the funds flow. Muri noted that the stool came courtesy of Raise Your Hand Texas and its Regional Advocacy Director Amy Dodson. view article arw

Eagle Pass Independent School District (EPISD) Superintendent Samuel Mijares in an exclusive interview with the Eagle Pass Business Journal on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, announced that the local public school district is estimated to receive up to $19 million in federal funds from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) through the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress in December 2021. Superintendent Mijares stated that TEA has not yet advised public school districts such as EPISD on what specific uses and costs will be covered from these federal funds approved by Congress as part of the COVID-19 pandemic relief package. EPISD is awaiting instructions from TEA as well as receipt of the estimated $19 Million federal funds. view article arw

Public schools statewide will receive $11.2 billion in federal funding to address unexpected pandemic-related costs and learning loss, according to an April 28 press release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. “To ensure this pandemic does not become a generational education crisis, we expect, and students deserve, for this funding to be used to remediate the progress lost due to the pandemic,” Abbott said in a statement. “This will ensure that Texas students will be ready to fill the jobs created in and attracted to this state.” view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Independent School District held a news conference to provide information and answer questions regarding the release of federal funds to school districts. Schools in Texas have received some federal COVID-19 relief money, but not a lot. There's almost $20 billion the state has not yet released. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - Local superintendents are elated to see the state finally release over $11.2 billion in federal funds Wednesday. The money is aimed at helping public schools address student learning loss during Covid-19 and cover costs incurred during the pandemic. view article arw

The Judson Independent School District board of trustees on Thursday unanimously approved $10 million in raises for staff that will go into effect next school year. The 2021-22 compensation plan includes a 2% raise for all teachers and a 3% raise for all auxiliary and clerical staff. It also increases salaries for teachers with six to 20 years of experience, making Judson ISD more comparable to surrounding districts. view article arw

Austin ISD will receive roughly $156 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the state of Texas after Gov. Greg Abbott announced April 28 that the Texas Education Agency would be distributing a total of $11.2 billion in federal funds to public schools. The announcement came one week after AISD trustees signed a resolution asking state leaders to release the federal stimulus funds that were intended for public schools. view article arw

Katy ISD is slated to receive about $67 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to help address unexpected costs incurred during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Greg Abbott in an April 28 press release announced the release of $11.2 billion in federal funds for Texas public schools, funds that will be dedicated to help districts address student learning loss and costs incurred during the pandemic. Due to federal requirements, just two-thirds of the funding is available immediately, Abbott said, through grants administered by the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

About $11.2 billion will soon make its way to Texas schools to help students recover from the pandemic after state leaders announced the partial release of federal education dollars on Wednesday.  The state will distribute the funds for use over the next three years through grants administered by the Texas Education Agency. The money is part of a larger package of federal funds totaling close to $18 billion that Congress approved late last year and this spring. Texas was one of the few states that had yet to make plans to distribute most of the federal aid set aside for educators and students. view article arw

The roughly $200 billion injection of funds into public schools through the two most recent stimulus packages provides educators with a realistic shot at responding to the mammoth impact of the pandemic on America’s youth. However, before the ink on the American Rescue Plan was dry, misguided assertions about wise use of these funds in schools began to surface.  In our roles as a superintendent and as an adviser on strategic resource use to district leaders, we feel immense pressure to maximize return on investment and do right by students and their families. The soaring needs of students, especially Black, Latino and Indigenous students, students from low-income families and students with disabilities, demand exceptional stewardship of these dollars. view article arw

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The education system has been through a lot in the last year, including losing a ton of money because of coronavirus-related problems. view article arw

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The education system has been through a lot in the last year, including losing a ton of money because of coronavirus-related problems. view article arw

Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Speaker Dade Phelan today announced the release of $11.2 billion in new federal funds to help public schools address student learning loss and costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These one-time funds are intended to support a comprehensive learning recovery effort in Texas over the next three years. Due to federal requirements, two-thirds of the funds are available immediately under grants administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), with the final one-third to be distributed contingent upon approval by the U.S. Department of Education.  Given the complicated nature of the federal maintenance of effort requirements and the enormity of the education challenge ahead, the decision to release these new funds was reached with the important input of Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson, House Appropriations Chair Greg Bonnen, Senate Education Chair Larry Taylor, and House Public Education Chair Harold Dutton. view article arw

The decision to close Lovejoy Elementary is part of a raft of recommendations made by the district’s administration to cover a $3.1 million shortfall this year and a projected $6 million shortfall for 2021-22.  Anticipating a multimillion dollar shortfall, Lovejoy ISD trustees will vote Sunday evening on whether to close the district’s flagship elementary campus.    (27) view article arw

Austin ISD has formally requested that the state of Texas provide school districts with coronavirus relief funding allocated by the federal government over the past year for education. State leaders are currently holding on to nearly $18 billion in federal stimulus funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trustees unanimously approved a resolution April 22 requesting that Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Legislature and the Texas Education Agency ensure public education funds passed by the U.S. Congress through three stimulus packages “flow directly to local education agencies without additional restrictions.” Trustee Lynn Boswell said AISD stands to get about $240 million of that funding if it goes to public districts as intended. "We [at Austin ISD] have spent about $55 million on direct COVID-19 costs, and the needs will go up next year," she said. "The needs will not go away." view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas - Schools in Texas have received some federal COVID-19 relief money, but not a lot. There's almost $20 billion the state has not yet released. School officials and education advocates like Kevin Brown are urging state officials to stop withholding the money.  "It's very important for the state of texas that we get this right, this money cant linger at the state, it cant be diverted away from K-12, and in fact, it needs to get to the classroom," said Brown. view article arw

Austin ISD has formally requested that the state of Texas provide school districts with coronavirus relief funding allocated by the federal government over the past year for education.   State leaders are currently holding on to nearly $18 billion in federal stimulus funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trustees unanimously approved a resolution April 22 requesting that Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Legislature and the Texas Education Agency ensure public education funds passed by the U.S. Congress through three stimulus packages “flow directly to local education agencies without additional restrictions.”  Trustee Lynn Boswell said AISD stands to get about $240 million of that funding if it goes to public districts as intended. view article arw

A North Texas mother trying to spark a conversation about race, said she was attacked for her efforts to help her community after two slave trading incidents in Aledo ISD.  Monday night's Aledo ISD board meeting was the community's first chance to hear from Christopher Johnson, the boy who made headlines around the world after his classmates traded him for $100 on a Snapchat conversation called a slave farm, among other names. view article arw

The Brownsville Independent School District (ISD) has received over $2 million through the Musk Foundation. According to a release, the district received a total of $2,412,000. “We are currently working on a plan to expand several of our Career and Technical Education programs and academies,” said Dr. René Gutiérrez, superintendent of schools of Brownsville Independent School District in the release. view article arw

Texas must keep funding steady for both K-12 public schools and state institutions of higher education to tap billions in federal pandemic aid, new Department of Education guidance clarified Monday.  The state’s top budget writers were hesitant to spend about $18 billion in the federal money as they waited weeks for answers on what was required. The department’s clarification noted that the state must maintain funding levels or seek a waiver. view article arw

An update on billions of dollars of federal relief money set aside for Texas schools. Local teachers say they're hoping to use that money to help students catch up after more than a year of remote learning. “We lost students on a huge, huge scale,” said Cynthia Lopez a career and technical education teacher with Edgewood ISD. Lopez is in her fifth year of teaching with Edgewood ISD and it's her first at Memorial High School, view article arw

As much as $75 million in federal funding could be headed to Richardson ISD to help close student learning gaps brought on by the pandemic, the school board learned during its April 19 meeting. The money would be part of federal stimulus funds for Texas schools. The district would use anywhere from $40 to $75 million it may receive in the 2021-22 budget. “Now is the time for us to be ready to invest in our district, in our students and recovering from what has been a very difficult year and a half,” Superintendent Jeannie Stone said. view article arw

Longview ISD could get more than $8 million in federal stimulus money because of COVID-19, and on Monday a state advocacy group working to get schools the funds paid a visit to Longview High School. Raise Your Hand Texas is a group that supports public schools and advocates on their behalf, Regional Advocacy Director Robert Long said. The group is visiting districts across the state to raise awareness about public school funding after starting at the state Capitol. Long said the group set up a 6-foot tall three-legged stool at the events as a message to lawmakers. “We appreciate the contributions that were made with the passage of House Bill 3 in the 86th legislative session, and we’re also glad that (the legislature) didn’t penalize school districts for not having kids in person by supporting them with the hold harmless, but now there’s about $17.9 billion that the fed released that is specifically identified for school districts such as Longview ISD,” Long said. “And we want to make sure that those funds go directly to the school districts, because we know our leaders, our teachers, our superintendents have not given up on school children during this time.” view article arw

Omar Garcia with BOK Financial Securities has a new release that is now available for download. This new release primarily is for the purpose of explaining the latest FAQ from TEA related to the ADA hold harmless provisions for 2020-21 and makes other minor changes (see Notes tab). As always, please stay tuned for any new developments – there will probably be some. Link    (21) view article arw