Spotlight Texas

Voters to Decide Fate of Dallas County Schools Transportation Services Nov. 7
Voters to Decide Fate of Dallas County Schools Transportation Services Nov. 7

The Nov. 7 Constitutional Amendment and Bond Election will give voters the opportunity to save the embattled and often misunderstood Dallas County Schools (DCS). Despite its name, DCS is not a school district; but rather, the organization provides transportation in the form of school buses for more than 450,000 Dallas County students in Dallas ISD, Richardson ISD, Irving ISD, Highland Park ISD, Lancaster ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, and DeSoto ISD. DCS largely funds it services through a property tax on Dallas County homes.

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QA: Dallas ISD Superintendent Says Merit Pay "Has Possibility" for State
QA: Dallas ISD Superintendent Says Merit Pay "Has Possibility" for State

Very few school districts in Texas tie teacher compensation to performance evaluations. But in Dallas, whose merit pay system is in its third year, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says he has already seen good results. Earlier this year, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath — a former member of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees — circulated a statewide merit pay plan based on the Dallas system, but so far, no such system has been implemented. We sat down with Hinojosa to see whether Dallas' approach could work statewide.

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Homecoming on Homecoming: U.S. Army Serviceman Surprises Parents at Two Richardson ISD Campuses
Homecoming on Homecoming: U.S. Army Serviceman Surprises Parents at Two Richardson ISD Campuses

Richardson Pearce's homecoming is Friday night, and Pearce graduate Brandon Marshall did his best to make it memorable for his parents.

Marshall had been stationed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Vicenza, Italy for the past 3 ½ years - and hadn't been able to get home to see his parents: Ron, a career technical education teacher at Lake Highlands Junior High; and Becky, a developmental center paraprofessional at Pearce.

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Aldine ISD Superintendent Wanda Bamberg Retiring at End of School Year
Aldine ISD Superintendent Wanda Bamberg Retiring at End of School Year

The superintendent of Aldine ISD and her top deputy announced Tuesday they will retire at the end of the current school year, just before seismic changes are scheduled to take effect in the sprawling district covering much of northeast Harris County.

Wanda Bamberg, who has been superintendent since 2007, said her departure will give the next superintendent more leeway to implement the changes made during her 11-year tenure.

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Leander ISD High Schools Among the 6 Percent That Follow Voter Registration Forms Law
Leander ISD High Schools Among the 6 Percent That Follow Voter Registration Forms Law

Principals of Texas high schools have enough on their plates, and asking the state for voter registration forms should not be another responsibility, according to a statewide voice for high school principals.

In September the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy organization, released a report that found most high schools in the state are not complying with a more than 30-year-old law that requires principals to request voter registration forms for eligible students at least twice a year.

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New School Finance Commission Member Discusses the Road Ahead
New School Finance Commission Member Discusses the Road Ahead

After months of fighting on school finance during the regular and special legislative sessions this year, state lawmakers left the Texas Capitol without the new system many say the state desperately needs. Instead, state leaders have put together a 13-member commission to study the issue in the interim. We sat down with Pflugerville Independent School District Superintendent Doug Killian, a longtime school administrator tapped for the commission by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

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Dallas ISD Begins Push to Integrate Computer Science Lessons in All 151 Elementary Schools
Dallas ISD Begins Push to Integrate Computer Science Lessons in All 151 Elementary Schools

Frederick Douglass fifth-grader Joeleah Hudspeth made her robot talk, step forward, and march around.

“You get to solve its problem and make it move,” she said.

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Closing of Luminant Plant a Tax Hit to Titus County
Closing of Luminant Plant a Tax Hit to Titus County

Titus County began living with the pain of losing Luminant's Monticello Power Plant years before the company officially announced it would close the facility.

Luminant's parent company, Vistra, announced recently that the facility near Mount Pleasant would cease operations in January. The move means about 200 employees will lose their jobs, although some people will continue working there while the plant is dismantled.

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Lufkin ISD's Superintendent Awarded "Superintendent of the Year"
Lufkin ISD's Superintendent Awarded "Superintendent of the Year"

Dr. LaTonya Goffney, Lufkin ISD's Superintendent of Schools, was named Superintendent of the Year at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards convention on Saturday.

According to a statement for Lufkin ISD, Goffney, who was selected from a finalist group of five superintendent's, is the first African-American woman to receive the award since its creation in 1984.

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Study Examines Effect of Funding Cuts on Texas Schools, Students
Study Examines Effect of Funding Cuts on Texas Schools, Students

Funding cuts by state lawmakers left a five-year, $5 billion hole in the budget for Texas public schools between 2011 and 2016. A new University of Texas study analyzes the effect of those cuts, made because of state revenue shortfalls, which forced many districts to operate with less money despite a growing number of students.

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