Deadline approaching for superintendent nominations
Local school boards are invited to submit nominations for the 2017 Superintendent of the Year. The annual award recognizes Texas administrators for achievement and excellence in public school leadership. Submissions are due to your district's regional education service center by May 15.
Next step: Speak up about school funding
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives voted against using state funds on voucher programs by a vote of 103 to 44—making it clear that the House has little appetite for any voucher programs this session. While this is good news for Texas public schools, the work isn't done yet. It is important to continue communicating against school vouchers and turn the focus to school funding.
Last call to register for Amarillo Forum
Education leaders will be coming together with business and community leaders at a Business/Education Forum in Amarillo on April 27, and you are invited to be part of the conversation. TASB and Region 16 are working together to host this discussion on effective approaches to student success.
Spring Workshops underway!
The 2017 TASB Spring Workshops kicked off April 3 and will run through May 24 at 16 locations throughout Texas. The workshops are a convenient way to earn continuing education credit and learn about hot topics in education.
Winners named in Student Video Contest
The competition was tough, but the votes have been tallied in the 2016–17 Student Video Contest. More than 100 campuses showcased their students' creative talents, showing what makes their schools great. The TASB prize patrol is hitting the road this month to deliver awards to the six winning schools.
May 31 deadline for Media Honor Roll
Nominations are being accepted for TASB's 2016–17 Media Honor Roll
. Take this opportunity to recognize your local reporters for their fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools. The deadline for nominations is May 31. Use the online nomination form
for each individual or organization your district wants to recognize.
Make plans to attend SLI 2017
Are you already thinking about your summer plans? Training should be at the top of your list. TASB's Summer Leadership Institute features powerful speakers and training opportunities. This year's conference is scheduled June 15–17 in San Antonio and June 22–24 in Fort Worth. Here's what you can expect.
Advocacy starts with you at Delegate Assembly
The fight for Texas public schools isn't done. Texas schools are facing long-term legislative challenges, and it is more important than ever for Texas trustees to stand up and advocate for public schools. Your role as an advocate starts with the TASB Delegate Assembly.
TASB Talks school finance and advocacy
In episode two
of TASB Talks, Catherine Clark, an expert on school finance, discusses how schools are funded and why the Texas school finance system is so complex. Episode three
features Karen Strong, TASB's associate executive director of Communications and Public Relations, discussing the organization's advocacy efforts, resources for those passionate about public education, and why it's more important than ever to stand up for public schools. Check out
all episodes of the TASB Talks podcast, and subscribe to it on Apple iTunes
or Sound Cloud
Legal updates: TRE, budget and tax rate, and website accessibility
Three new legal resources now are available in the Business section of TASB School Law eSource. Two memos detail the budget and tax rate adoption methods: "Early Tax Rate Adoption"
and "Traditional Method."
The "2017 Tax Ratification Election (TRE) Information and Timelines"
is a step-by-step guide outlining relevant deadlines and procedures for holding a TRE. Finally, "School District Website Accessibility"
addresses issues related to website accessibility, including rulemaking under the Americans with Disabilities Act and recent litigation and complaints with the Office of Civil Rights.
Highlights from the annual member survey
According to the 2017 TASB Member Survey, members believe TASB should focus efforts on five key areas: school funding, advocacy, communication with the public, training at conferences and online, and board governance. The survey, conducted every year, helps gauge how the Association is meeting member needs. New this year, the survey also included several advocacy questions to gauge member opinions.
Spotlight your business supporters
It's time to shine a light on the groups that are sharing their resources to make your schools successful. Submit the names of businesses or community groups your district would like to recognize for the 2016–17 Business Recognition Program. This is your opportunity to get TASB's help in spotlighting the businesses that are standing up for Texas public schools.
News from Policy Service
The 2017–18 edition of the Model Student Handbook
is now available in English and Spanish. Superintendents, superintendent secretaries, and policy contacts can retrieve the handbook through myTASB. Campus administrators should contact their superintendents to get a copy.
Site provides outreach opportunity for districts
Looking to boost your district's website content and build strong relationships with the parents in your community? Link to and share MyTexasPublicSchool.org
. A free resource for school districts, the site is specifically for parents of students new to Texas public schools, providing answers to commonly asked questions. To make sharing the site easy, TASB has created web artwork (badges)
in various sizes. Districts can place these images on their websites with a link to mytexaspublicschool.org
Texas schools recognized in Magna Awards
Four Texas school districts received honorable mentions in the American School Board Journal
) 2017 Magna Awards program
: Austin ISD for its dyslexia awareness and academic language therapy programs; Denton ISD for GOAL: Guys/Girls Operating as Leaders; Midway ISD for Hunger Free MISD; and Valley View ISD for its culture of literacy. The awards were presented in March during the National School Boards Association's Annual Conference in Denver. The winners also are highlighted in the April issue of ASBJ
Teacher of the Year nominations due June 7
School districts are invited to highlight their best educators in the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year
awards program. Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest state honor for educators. The program showcases educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues, and the communities they serve. Nominations are due to the regional ESCs June 7 by 5 p.m. Complete details on the nomination process and the application are posted on the TASA website
SBOE awards program honors school volunteers
The State Board of Education (SBOE) is accepting nominations for the 2017 Heroes for Children Award
. This annual award recognizes public school volunteers who have been strong advocates for Texas schoolchildren. Volunteers may be nominated by individual persons or by organizations. Educational employees, elected government officials, and organizations are not eligible. Deadline for nominations is May 26; the application form is available online
Recognize your outstanding board
If your school board supports educational improvement projects and school transformation initiatives, puts the welfare of students above personal or political motives, and works together to function as a policy-making body, your superintendent should nominate your board for Texas Association of School Administrator's (TASA) School Board Awards Program
. There is no application form to submit; rather, eligible superintendents should submit data and information that is supportive of the award criteria to their regional ESCs by June 16. Learn more on the TASA website
Study on prekindergarten grants completed
Continued funding is needed in order to fully implement high-quality prekindergarten, increase kindergarten readiness, and continuously improve prekindergarten programs, according to a study released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA)
. The study
was completed to gain a clearer understanding of the impact of the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grants (passed by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015) on 10 school districts and charter schools that received the funding. Future funding for the grant will depend on appropriations made during this legislative session.
Districts share data on individual graduation committees
Nearly 13,000 students statewide had an individual graduation committee (IGC) assigned and were eligible to graduate, according to data compiled
for the 2015–16 school year. Statewide, the total number of IGC graduates (9,014) represented 2.8 percent of the total graduates (324,294). Senate Bill 149, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, revised the state's assessment graduation requirements, allowing a student who failed an end-of-course assessment for no more than two courses to graduate if determined qualified by an IGC.
Rural schools report released
Following almost a year of work, the Texas Rural Schools Task Force released a report
identifying current challenges and best practices for rural school districts statewide. The Texas Education Agency is mobilizing resources to incorporate the task force's recommendations into strategic operations and strengthen support provided to rural schools. According to the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, Texas has more than 2,000 campuses classified as being in rural areas—more than any other state.
New snapshot of Texas schools posted
Texas now has more than 8,670 campuses and is responsible for the education of 5.28 million students, according to Snapshot 2016
. Recently published by the Texas Education Agency, the snapshot offers profile information about each Texas school district and charter, as well as statewide statistics. The 2016 report shows that 59 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, the dropout rate was 2.1 percent, and the graduation rate was 89 percent. The profiles are available online
with options to download detail and summary table data.