Spotlight Texas

TRS-Care's Status Heading Into the 86th Texas Legislature
TRS-Care's Status Heading Into the 86th Texas Legislature
Read More
Incumbent Whose Seat Could Tip the Balance on the State Board of Education Clinches Primary
Incumbent Whose Seat Could Tip the Balance on the State Board of Education Clinches Primary

Patricia "Pat" Hardy, a 16-year member of the State Board of Education hounded for not being conservative enough, fended off two challengers in the Texas Republican primary to give herself a solid start for the November general election.

Hardy is known for sometimes working with more moderate board members and providing the swing vote on some issues.

Read More
Lawsuit Against CCISD Claims Special Ed Services Not Provided
Lawsuit Against CCISD Claims Special Ed Services Not Provided

In January, Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Education Agency to draft a plan to improve special education services to students in school districts statewide.

Abbott was concerned about failures of school districts to provide proper federally-mandated services to students with special needs.

Read More
After Parkland Shooting, Gov. Abbott Tells Texas Higher Education to Step Up Safety Measures
After Parkland Shooting, Gov. Abbott Tells Texas Higher Education to Step Up Safety Measures

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday asked Texas' higher education coordinating board to take an active role in junior college campus safety.

In a letter sent Wednesday, he asked the board to help draft safety policy changes and act as an informational resource on safety for junior colleges, citing the shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school as a trigger for action. Last week, Abbott asked the Texas Education Agency to take similar steps.

Read More
Officials React to 'Campaign Junk Mail' From Empower Texans
Officials React to 'Campaign Junk Mail' From Empower Texans

Marshall ISD trustees and administrators joined a growing number of school district officials across the state on Wednesday to receive a letter from Empower Texans, a conservative non-profit, accusing them of trying to "engineer" votes for the upcoming primary election by encouraging educators to get out and vote.

"I recognized the letter for what it was: campaign junk mail," Marshall ISD School Board President Helen Warwick said on Thursday. "It's just an effort on their part to get their candidate elected."

Read More
Reading, Writing, Evicted: How Austin, Texas, Hopes to Combat Student Turnover
Reading, Writing, Evicted: How Austin, Texas, Hopes to Combat Student Turnover

It all started when Doyle Valdez noticed children were disappearing.

He’d see students making academic strides, but one day, they would just vanish. Along with them, he said, went all the investment in their educational success.

Read More
Dallas Superintendent: Teacher Merit Pay System 'Unsustainable' Without Changes
Dallas Superintendent: Teacher Merit Pay System 'Unsustainable' Without Changes

Minutes after a renowned educational economist told state lawmakers that Dallas ISD’s work on teacher effectiveness could put Texas “at the top of the world” if replicated statewide, DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa delivered a dampening dose of reality.

The nucleus of those efforts - its teacher evaluation and merit pay system - can't continue in its current form because DISD doesn't have the money, Hinojosa said. Changes must happen, and soon, for the 3-year-old program as DISD struggles to balance its innovations with looming budget woes, he said.

Read More
172 TX School Districts Allow Staff to Carry Guns
172 TX School Districts Allow Staff to Carry Guns

As President Donald Trump suggests giving teachers guns to prevent further mass shootings, staff members at dozens of Texas school districts may already be packing heat.

The Texas Association of School Boards said it knows of 172 districts that allow staff to carry firearms and one district that has a school marshal program in its policies. The TASB originally told KSAT on Thursday there were 169 districts but revised that number after receiving notices of more districts that have adopted similar policies.

Read More
After Federal Probe, Parents Say Texas Districts Lack Funding, Staff to Help Kids with Dyslexia
After Federal Probe, Parents Say Texas Districts Lack Funding, Staff to Help Kids with Dyslexia

When Katharine Margiotta and her family go out to eat, she has to read restaurant menus to her 13-year-old son, who struggles to write letters of the alphabet and guesses most words in his reading assignments.

Any teacher should immediately realize he has dyslexia, the most common learning disability, she said. Yet she's been fighting for years to get Austin ISD to provide high-quality services to help her son learn to read. Now her son is in seventh grade — much older than the age studies say intensive reading instruction is likely to help remediate the disorder — and extremely frustrated with battling his way through classes.

Read More
Texas AG Issues Cease-and-Desist Letter to LISD Over Election Efforts
Texas AG Issues Cease-and-Desist Letter to LISD Over Election Efforts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lewisville ISD over its recent public advocacy for voting, calling it unlawful electioneering. Holliday and Brazosport ISDs also received letters.

In recent weeks, Lewisville ISD has been using its social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook to advocate that teachers and parents vote in the upcoming March 6 Democratic and Republican primary elections. While the district has been advocating for support of public education, it has not mentioned specific candidates by name.

Read More