Summer Posting Schedule

May 3109:18 AM
 

It's summer at TexasISD.com and for most of you as well. Summer tends to be slow for normal school news so we are adjusting our posting calendar for Monday through Thursday. In the event of special news or new superintendent vacancies those could still appear throughout the week.

New footage recently posted to X reveals human smugglers’ tactics for returning to Mexico and evading capture by law enforcement. Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesman Chris Olivarez posted two videos to X on Friday, explaining that “The videos show recent smuggling events captured by @TxDPS in the #RGV. Criminal cartels & smugglers coordinate with each other as they evade law enforcement to avoid arrest.” The videos are posted below. In the first video, a smuggler in a black pickup truck can be seen fleeing local law enforcement in a high-speed chase. The smuggler then pilots the vehicle straight into the Rio Grande, bails out, and swims the remainder of the distance back to Mexico. view article arw

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation Monday into Katy Independent School District to determine if its controversial gender identity policy discriminates against students, according to records obtained by the Houston Landing. The investigation comes after the Landing reported in November 2023 that Katy ISD revealed the gender identities of 19 students to their parents in the two months after the policy passed. Several weeks later, student advocacy organization Students Engaged in Advancing Texas used the report’s findings in a federal Title IX complaint alleging Katy ISD discriminated against these students on the basis of sex. view article arw

Last night's lightning storms have us scrabling this morning. Please bear with us while we get things sorted out.

A quarter of a century after the Columbine High School shooting, the trauma from the attack has remained with survivors   Hours after she escaped the Columbine High School shooting, 14-year-old Missy Mendo slept between her parents in bed, still wearing the shoes she had on when she fled her math class. She wanted to be ready to run.  Twenty-five years later, and with Mendo now a mother herself, the trauma from that horrific day remains close on her heels.  It caught up to her when 60 people were shot dead in 2017 at a country music festival in Las Vegas, a city she had visited a lot while working in the casino industry. Then again in 2022, when 19 students and two teachers were shot and killed in Uvalde, Texas. view article arw

The Biden administration has reached an agreement to provide up to $6.4 billion in direct funding for Samsung Electronics to develop a computer chip manufacturing and research cluster in Texas. The funding announced Monday by the Commerce Department is part of a total investment in the cluster that, with private money, is expected to exceed $40 billion. The government support comes from the CHIPS and Science Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2022 with the goal of reviving the production of advanced computer chips domestically. "The proposed project will propel Texas into a state-of-the-art semiconductor ecosystem," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on a call with reporters. "It puts us on track to hit our goal of producing 20% of the world's leading edge chips in the United States by the end of the decade." view article arw

Fort Bend ISD trustees spent hours Monday night considering a policy that would give the superintendent sole authority over library books and textbooks in the district, mandating, among other requirements, that none “stimulate sexual desire” among students. The strict policy proposal, which comes in response to a new Texas law, drew concern from families, librarians and even board members who noted that the district just approved an instructional materials policy last year with a specific book challenge process that includes a volunteer review committee and puts staff in charge of book acquisition and periodical review of the district’s collections. “It is unjust to let one person filter what can be available to students. Please allow librarians to get a say in what should be allowed on the shelves, they were hired for a reason,” said Eva Morris, 15, at public comment. view article arw

Not long after Texas passed SB 17, a law prohibiting diversity, equity and inclusion programs at public colleges and universities, many institutions chose to rename their former DEI offices, using words like “belonging,” “community engagement” and “student development” in the new titles. view article arw

The wind industry promises attractive salaries. But a lack of training programs and waning political support make it difficult to find new recruits. Subscribe to The Y’all — a weekly dispatch about the people, places and policies defining Texas, produced by Texas Tribune journalists living in communities across the state. SWEETWATER — Sitting in the football stadium bleachers of his West Texas high school, Steven Vasquez used to look past the flatlands and watch the wind turbines spin. Even after kickoff, he would stay entranced by the red lights atop the turbines, blinking like a heartbeat. “I was always fascinated about how they generate so much electricity just by the power of the wind,” Vasquez said. “And then I found out that I can study them even more, I can really see how they're built and how everything works on the inside.” view article arw

CELESTE — The clouds disappeared, opening the sky. Then a curtain of darkness settled in as the moon completely covered the sun, creating a shimmering halo. And a crowd of about 50 eager onlookers at Clymer Meadow Preserve erupted with cheers once the eclipse reached its peak of totality on Monday. Attendees took off their glasses to admire the sight as the sky turned pink and purple like an early sunset. One child pointed with excitement as Jupiter and Venus became visible. Truett Cates, 77, from Sherman said, “Hurray for the sun!” and then tears formed in his eyes. For three minutes and 39 seconds, he and the others at this North Texas nature preserve viewed the eclipse in awe. Cates had organized his family reunion around the eclipse; many cousins and siblings had traveled in from Florida, New Jersey and California. view article arw

As Texas’ child care centers struggle to stay open amid mounting post-pandemic financial woes, a lifeline thrown out by voters last year – a new tax credit for providers – is gaining traction in the state’s biggest metropolitan areas. Its reach is limited to just a fraction of the providers in the state, but the exemption will be a boon for owners who can take advantage of it, supporters say — so the push is on to make the tax credit available to “as many as possible, as quickly as possible” said Kim Kofron, senior director of education for Children at Risk, a nonprofit advocacy group in Texas. “We feel very good about the fact that the metros have adopted it, because that’s where the majority of our child care centers are,” she said. “But we don't want to forget about the rural areas, too.” view article arw

There are 31 million people in the path of totality across the United States, which is more than 2,000 miles long. The path stretches across 15 states -- from Texas all the way to Maine. Small towns across the country are bracing for an influx of visitors. Waxahache, which is just south of Dallas, is expecting more than a hundred thousand skywatchers! "They even told us to maybe be prepared to sleep in our store if we needed to," small business owner Kaylee Hume said. Hundreds of school districts nationwide are closing for the day or dismissing early. view article arw

Federal Title X clinics do not require parental consent for birth control — except in Texas, where a lawsuit upended the longstanding program.  Teenagers come to Access Esperanza’s family planning clinics in the Rio Grande Valley for birth control. They leave with a full reproductive life plan. Appointments often run close to two hours, CEO Patricio Gonzalez said, as they counsel teens on everything from contraception and sexually-transmitted infections, to healthy relationships, consent, and the client’s hopes and dreams. In a state that doesn’t require sex education, this is often the first time teens have thought about how reproductive health decisions can impact their future plans, Gonzalez said. view article arw

As Texas’ child care centers struggle to stay open amid mounting post-pandemic financial woes, a lifeline thrown out by voters last year – a new tax credit for providers – is gaining traction in the state’s biggest metropolitan areas. Its reach is limited to just a fraction of the providers in the state, but the exemption will be a boon for owners who can take advantage of it, supporters say — so the push is on to make the tax credit available to “as many as possible, as quickly as possible” said Kim Kofron, senior director of education for Children at Risk, a nonprofit advocacy group in Texas. “We feel very good about the fact that the metros have adopted it, because that’s where the majority of our child care centers are,” she said. “But we don't want to forget about the rural areas, too.” view article arw

To close or stay open? Ahead of the eclipse, Texas schools weighed logistical hurdles versus learning opportunities Some districts will close for the day expecting traffic jams and busy city services. Others will stay open for parents who can’t find child care. view article arw

2024 Total Solar Eclipse

April 0805:00 AM
 

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. Safety is the number one priority when viewing a total solar eclipse. Be sure you're familiar with when you need to wear specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing by reviewing these safety guidelines. view article arw

The San Antonio-based grocery chain has deep roots in the state and has established itself over the years as something of a gold standard when it comes to customer service and civic responsibility. It's embedded in our culture. view article arw

A vendor of voter registration management software is asking Texas counties that use its services to pay tens of thousands of dollars in surcharges to help the company stay afloat, or scramble for alternative ways to deal with sensitive voter information in a presidential election year. The request has election administrators in some of the state’s largest counties consulting with county attorneys about their legal options. Others are trying to find the money to pay, worried about the stability of the vendor, California-based Votec Corp. Election officials have few other options to store and manage the voter registration data of millions of voters across the state only months ahead of the May runoff election and November’s presidential election. view article arw

A new rule being considered by the Texas Ethics Commission would have the commission policing the social media posts of citizens, chilling political speech with the threat of costly and arduous enforcement. Texas election code generally requires political advertising to contain a disclaimer. The TEC has created several exceptions to this rule, however. One such exception is online advertising done by entities other than the candidate that does not exceed $100. At their March 20 meeting, the commission unanimously moved to consider amending the rule at an upcoming meeting to include a requirement that the person or group posting the political message online “did not post or re-post the political advertising in return for consideration.” view article arw

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Bryan ISD and College Station ISD will still have school on April 8 during the total solar eclipse, but they have an exciting day planned for students. The total solar eclipse will travel through a section of the U.S. including most of the Brazos Valley. Some school districts in Texas will be closing during the eclipse but Bryan and College Station ISD will have regular school hours. “We will open our doors at 7:15 a.m. as usual and we will release at 3:05 p.m. as usual. All of our schedules as far as when students receive lunch and recess and their specials and activities and things like that will occur as normal,” said Heather Sherman, the Principal at River Bend Elementary, CSISD. view article arw

Illegal alien encounters at the southwest border are on the rise according to the February numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. At ports of entry, the CBP reported 140,644 encounters. This increased by more than 16,000 from the previous month. Additionally, CBP reports 189,922 total encounters along the border. “Total encounters include U.S. Border Patrol encounters between ports of entry, as well as individuals who presented themselves at ports of entry,” according to CBP. In January, total encounters were 176,205. This marks a monthly increase of over 13,000 in February. Center for Immigration Studies Resident Fellow in Law and Policy Andrew Arthur wrote in a recent study that February was among the worst in history in terms of illegal border crossings. view article arw

ERCEDES — With about half a year put into their projects, students across the Valley were able to present their final prototypes for critical review for the NASA HUNCH program with the chance to advance to the next level of the program at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Hosted on Tuesday at the South Texas ISD Central Office Teaching & Learning Center, students from South Texas ISD, Brownsville ISD and Harlingen CISD presented their projects to NASA officials who offered project feedback and overall guidance in their future endeavors. NASA HUNCH is a project-based learning program where students learn 21st Century skills and have the opportunity to launch their careers through participation and design of real world products for NASA. view article arw

   Talia Natterson is a sophomore at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, a private school in Los Angeles, California. She writes for her school publication, Crossfire.