Important Dates

Apr. 20 Business Education Forum, Amarillo Area
Registration deadline

Apr. 24 Summer Leadership Institute
Registration opens

May 1 Delegate Assembly
Delegate and alternate registration opens

May 1 Leadership TASB
Application process opens

May 15 Superintendent of the Year
Deadline for nominations to education service centers

May 19 Summer Leadership Institute
Housing deposits due

May 26 Summer Leadership Institute San Antonio
Registration deadline

May 31 Media Honor Roll
Nomination deadline

June 2 Summer Leadership Institute Fort Worth
Registration deadline

June 30 Business Recognition Program
Deadline to submit businesses and community groups

July 1 Leadership TASB
Application deadline

July 3 Advocacy Agenda Resolutions
Deadline to submit resolutions

Upcoming Training

Apr. 19 Facility Services Training: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator
ESC 18, Midland

Apr. 20 Facility Services Training: Indoor Air Quality Coordinator
ESC 18, Midland

Apr. 21 BoardBook Training
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Apr. 23-25 TASB Risk Management Fund Members' Conference
Austin Hyatt Regency, Austin

Apr. 26 Spring Workshop
ESC 4, Houston

Apr. 27 Business/Education Forum
ESC 16, Amarillo

Apr. 27 Spring Workshop
Tarleton State University, Stephenville

May 9 Spring Workshop
Sul Ross State University, Alpine

May 10 TASB Risk Management Fund Webinar: UC and Reasonable Assurance

May 11 Spring Workshop
ESC 14, Abilene

May 11 Spring Workshop
Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College, Uvalde

May 12 BoardBook Training
TASB Headquarters, Austin

May 16 Facility Services Training: Grounds Management
TASB Headquarters, Austin

May 16 Spring Workshop
Texas A&M University, Commerce

May 16 Spring Workshop
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches

May 17 Facility Services Training: HAZCOM
TASB Headquarters, Austin

May 17 Spring Workshop
West Texas A&M University, Canyon

May 17 Spring Workshop
Victoria College Conference and Education Center, Victoria

May 18 Facility Services Training: Maintenance and Operations Best Practices
TASB Headquarters, Austin

May 19–20 Spring Workshop
South Padre Island Convention Center, South Padre

May 23 Spring Workshop
ESC 12, Waco

May 24 Spring Workshop
ESC 6, Huntsville

More training

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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. Read more.

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 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

Texas schools recognized in Magna Awards

Four Texas school districts received honorable mentions in the American School Board Journal's (ASBJ) 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.