Important Dates

Jan. 15 National School Boards Association Annual Conference
Early registration deadline

Jan. 20 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar (WGLS)
Registration opens

Jan. 20 WGLS Student Voices: A Conversation about Education
Application deadline for student panelists

Jan. 25 WGLS
Housing deadline

Jan. 29 TASB Risk Management Fund Innovation Award
Application deadline

Jan. 31 TASB Member Survey
Deadline to respond

Feb. 8 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals
Registration deadline

Feb. 12 WGLS
Preregistration deadline

Upcoming Training

Jan. 13 Grassroots Meeting, Region 13
ESC 13, Austin

Jan. 13 HR Services Webinar: Calculating Overtime for Nonexempt Employees

Jan. 14 Grassroots Meeting, Region 3
ESC 3, Victoria

Jan. 21 Grassroots Meeting, Region 16
ESC 16, Amarillo

Jan. 22 BoardBook Training
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Jan. 24–26 National School Boards Association Advocacy Institute
Washington, DC

Jan. 26 Facility Services Training: Asbestos Designated Person
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Jan. 27 Facility Services Training: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Jan. 28 Facility Services Training: Environmental/Facilities Regulatory Compliance
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Feb. 2 Grassroots Meeting, Region 6
ESC 6, Huntsville

Feb. 2 Grassroots Meeting, Region 18
Sul Ross State University, Espino Conference Center, Alpine

Feb. 3 Grassroots Meeting, Region 18
ESC 18, Midland

Feb. 3 HR Services Training: Hiring Effective Teachers and Keeping Them
ESC 9, Wichita Falls

Feb. 4 Grassroots Meeting, Region 15
ESC 15, San Angelo

Feb. 4 Grassroots Meeting, Region 17
ESC 17, Lubbock

Feb. 4 Grassroots Meeting, Region 20
ESC 20, San Antonio

Feb. 10 BoardBook Training
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Feb. 10 HR Services Training: Hiring Effective Teachers and Keeping Them
ESC 20, San Antonio

Feb. 10 Grassroots Meeting, Region 4
ESC 4, Houston

Feb. 11 Grassroots Meeting, Region 5
ESC 5, Beaumont

Feb. 11–12 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals
TASB Headquarters, Austin

Feb. 16 Facility Services Training: Asbestos Designated Person
Victoria ISD, ESC 3

Feb. 16 Winter Legal Seminar
Holiday Inn South Broadway, Tyler

Feb. 17 Facility Services Training: Integrated Pest Management Coordinator
Victoria ISD, ESC 3

Feb. 17 Grassroots Meeting, Region 10
ESC 10, Richardson

Feb. 18 Facility Services Training: Indoor Air Quality Coordinator
Victoria ISD, ESC 3

Feb. 18 Winter Legal Seminar
ESC 19, El Paso

More training

Get started on your 2016 training at WGLS in February

The 2016 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar (WGLS) is set for February 25–27 at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel. At WGLS, attendees enjoy smaller sessions and networking with trustees and administrators from across the state. The seminar also features a small district strand with sessions focused specifically on small and rural districts. Read more.

Respond now to the TASB Member Survey

The 2016 TASB Member Survey will launch this month, and we would love to hear from every district about how the Association can best meet member needs. All board members and superintendents will be e-mailed a link to the survey next week; deadline for responses is January 31. You can respond early by accessing the survey here. For more information, contact Marie Jones, TASB Planning and Research, at 800.580.8272, ext. 3555.

Register today for your regional Grassroots Meeting

Take your leadership to the next level and help shape the legislative agenda TASB will pursue during the 85th Legislative Session at the 2016 Grassroots Meetings. You—local school board members—are the core piece in building the TASB Advocacy Agenda. The regional meetings, which run January 13–March 3, are free, and dinner is provided at no cost. Read more.

Honor your district's super-hero trustees

TASB thanks local school board members for their commitment to our communities and schools. January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to recognize trustees for their tireless work in leading students to success. A planning kit and the official Governor's Proclamation are posted to assist districts in organizing recognition festivities. Also available is a short video aimed at helping students understand the role of school board members; districts are encouraged to show the video, located under Classroom Video on the right side of the page, in their classes. Share your district's festivities with TASB! Your feedback will help in planning future school board recognition activities.

Updates in School Law eSource

Revisions are complete on two legal articles: "Juggling More than One Role as a Board Member"  and "Harassment and Bullying Policies in Public Schools." The new links to the revised CIS and CIQ forms have been added to the "Required Conflicts of Interests Disclosure Chart" and "Conflict Disclosures for Board Members and Local Government Officers." Also, a new article on firearms is available; "Update on Firearms at School" provides information about openly carried handguns on school property.

Final call for Innovation Award submissions

The TASB Risk Management Fund is looking for organizations implementing new approaches to risk management. Submit your innovative solution for the 2016 Innovation Award. Up to 10 Fund members will be selected for their ability to view risk as an opportunity for improvement and implement new tactics. Read more.

Pay increases remain steady for Texas teachers

For the 2015‒16 school year, average teacher pay increases in Texas are unchanged from last year at 2.8 percent, according to results from the annual TASB Teacher Compensation in Texas Public Schools survey. Teacher pay raises lag 2000‒01 to 2009‒10 levels, when increases averaged nearly 4 percent per year. About 90 percent of Texas teachers received a base salary increase for 2015‒16. Read more.

Time to register for administrative staff conference

Registration is open for the second offering of the 2015–16 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals, a special training event for superintendent secretaries and other district administrative staff. The training, set for February 11–12 at TASB Headquarters in Austin, is a repeat of the October conference. Read more.

Helping candidates prepare for board service

What are the duties of a school board member? What is it like to be on a board? School board candidates have lots of questions, and TASB has a wealth of information to help them learn about the job of a board member. Beginning in February, candidates are invited to attend a free webinar designed to help individuals learn more about the work of a trustee. Read more.

Celebrating a mosaic of achievement in Texas schools

The year 2015 for Texas public education and TASB was a dynamic mosaic of achievement and advocacy, partnership and innovation, challenge and opportunity. Read about it in the 2015 TASB Annual Report, a special edition of Texas Lone Star magazine. You also can access the issue from the Texas Lone Star app. Download the free app from the Apple Store, Google Play, or Amazon Appstore; simply search for "texas lone star."

Submit a program for Summer Leadership Institute

Calling all presenters! TASB Leadership Team Services invites you to submit breakout session proposals for the 2016 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). This year's Institute is scheduled for June 16–18 in San Antonio and June 30–July 2 in Fort Worth. More than 3,000 school board members attend the yearly training. Applications for proposed breakout sessions are due February 12.

2016 superintendent award program now open

TASB is looking for outstanding superintendents. The 2016 Superintendent of the Year nomination process is now underway. The annual award recognizes Texas administrators for achievement and excellence in public school leadership. Local school boards are invited to nominate their superintendents for the honor. Submissions are due to the regional education service center by May 16. Each regional screening committee will submit one nomination to the state selection committee.

BuyBoard gives back to members

The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative saw continued growth in 2015 and shared that purchasing strength with its members. In December, the Cooperative distributed approximately $5.8 million in rebates to 981 members. The recent distribution brings the total amount rebated since 2006 to just over $26 million. Created in 1998, the Cooperative increases the purchasing power of government entities and simplifies purchasing with the electronic purchasing system BuyBoard.

Morath takes office as education commissioner

Mike Morath officially began his post as the new commissioner of education January 4. Governor Greg Abbott announced the appointment December 14. Morath previously served on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees for more than four years and on the TASB Board of Directors since July 2014. Read more.

TEA releases academic performance reports

The 2014–15 Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) are available on the Texas Education Agency website. The TAPR offers performance information about every public school and district in the state. Also available are the School Report Cards, which are required by the Texas Legislature and provide campus-level information concerning student and campus performance. A report card must be sent to the parent or guardian of every child enrolled in a Texas public school by local school districts.

NSBA's annual conference set for April

Take advantage of the early registration discount for the National School Boards Association's (NSBA) 76th Annual Conference. The 2016 event, set for April 9–11 in Boston, will feature more than 200 programming sessions and workshops, as well as speakers, site visits, and exhibitors. Register by January 15 to receive the special discount pricing. Read more.

Nominations being accepted for math and science teaching awards

April 1 is the deadline to nominate a teacher for the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. Read more.

New commission to study student assessments

Fifteen Texas education leaders have been appointed to serve on the newly created Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability. Commission members include school superintendents and board members, leaders from higher education institutions, and legislators. The commission, authorized by House Bill 2804 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, is tasked with recommending new systems of student assessment and public school accountability by September 1.