Important Dates

Nov. 20 Extra-Duty Stipend Survey
Deadline to participate

Dec. 4 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar (WGLS)
Program submission deadline

Jan. 6 WGLS
Housing opens

Jan. 15 NSBA Annual Conference
Early registration deadline

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

Jan. 29 TASB Risk Management Fund Innovation Awards
Application deadline

Feb. 8 TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals
Registration deadline

Registration now open for Grassroots Meetings

You—local school board members—are the core piece in building the TASB Advocacy Agenda. It starts with you, and it starts in January. TASB's 2016 Grassroots Meetings will be held in each education service center region January 13–March 3, 2016. The sessions are free, and dinner is provided at no cost.
Read more.

Superintendent pay raises level off

Superintendents saw a slight decline in pay raises for 2015‒16, according to the latest TASB/TASA Superintendent Salary Survey. The average pay increase was 2.9 percent, down from last year's 3.2 percent average. This marks a leveling off after steadily rising since 2011, when state lawmakers cut public school funding and many districts froze raises. Read more.

Legal tips for the holiday season

The winter holidays are right around the corner—a season full of legal questions for school districts. TASB School Law eSource includes a resource to help schools navigate seasonal concerns. "Employee and Student Legal Issues Related to the Holiday Season" reviews many relevant topics, including holiday displays and religious curriculum.

Highlight the businesses standing up for your schools

With the school year well under way, districts have a new opportunity to recognize the businesses and other organizations going out of their way to support your schools and students. TASB's 2015–16 Business Recognition Program provides a way to shine a light on the groups that are sharing time and resources to make their schools successful. Read more.

Deadlines for WGLS programs and student panelists

Has your district created a new program to improve academic success or developed a community outreach opportunity? Maybe you have some lessons learned to share with colleagues? Be part of the 2016 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar (WGLS); submit a breakout session presentation. Read more.

Required year-end training announcement

The State Board of Education rules require that the local board president report on compliance with continuing education requirements at the last meeting of the calendar year. For most districts, that will be the December meeting. For information on making the announcement, visit the Continuing Education Credit and Reporting page. If you need additional training before the end of the year, check out TASB's Online Learning Center (OLC).

How to become a District of Innovation

Districts of Innovation, a concept passed by the 84th Legislature, provides a way for school districts to gain some of the flexibilities typically available to open-enrollment charter schools. To help districts navigate this new opportunity, TASB is working to compile resources on Innovation Districts. Legal Services developed a comprehensive FAQ on the new designation. Additional resources are being gathered and will be posted at Keep watching the page for updates.

Celebrating 'Super-Heroes for Schools'

January is School Board Recognition Month, and districts are encouraged to recognize the dedicated work of school trustees. This annual celebration is a time to focus on the crucial role trustees play in our communities and schools. "Super-Heroes for Schools" is the theme for the 2016 recognition. Read more.

New legal resources for districts

TASB Legal Services' attorneys have been busy making updates and preparing new resources for school district leaders. Available in TASB School Law eSource, the updated and new articles cover a variety of topics—from reductions in force and board governance to firearms on school property and districts of innovation. Read more.

TASB Superintendent of the Year nominated for national award

Mary Ann Whiteker, superintendent of Hudson ISD, has been selected by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) as the Texas nominee for the 2016 American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year award. Read more.

Application process open for Innovation Award

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.

Administrative staff training set for February

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, 2016, at TASB Headquarters in Austin, is a repeat of the October conference. Read more.

Texas students post strong math scores

Texas fourth- and eighth-grade students taking the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics scored higher than the national average, according to results released in The Nation's Report Card. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, located within the US Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Read more.

Application deadline for Excellence in Education Awards

Did you nominate a teacher, school district, early childhood facility, or school board for a 2016 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award? Encourage them to fill out the online application by December 6 to put them on a path toward winning cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000. Nominees have been sent an invitation to complete the application. However, nominations are not required for participation; educators, school districts, early childhood facilities, and school boards also may complete the application.

Moses named 2015 Friend of the Year

Friends of Texas Public Schools (FOTPS) will present Mike Moses, former commissioner of education, with the 2015 Friend of the Year award at the annual gala in December. The Friend of the Year event honors individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to public education in Texas. Read more.

Advocacy Institute set for January

The National School Boards Association will host its annual Advocacy Institute January 24–26 in Washington, DC. School board members and superintendents are encouraged to attend this intensive conference highlighting a cross-disciplinary approach to effective school board advocacy. The registration fee for Advocacy Institute is $695. Visit the Advocacy Institute website to learn more and to register.

TEA posts HB 5 report

According to the House Bill 5 Evaluation Report distributed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), 53 percent of districts responding to a survey reported offering all five graduation endorsements created under House Bill 5 (83rd Session), whereas only six percent reported offering just one. Read more.

Registration under way for NSBA conference

Take advantage of the early registration discount for the National School Boards Association's 76th Annual Conference. The 2016 event will be held April 9–11, in Boston. The conference features more than 200 programming sessions, workshops, speakers, site visits, and exhibitors. Read more.

Final financial accountability ratings released

Almost 99 percent of independent school districts and almost 92 percent of charter schools earned successful final financial accountability ratings under the 201415 School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). Only 12 of 1,012 school districts (1.17 percent) were considered substandard, and 15 of 167 charters (8.24 percent) were considered substandard.

Next issue of The Star mails January 12

The Star is not published in December each year. Watch your inbox January 12 for the first issue of 2016. Remember, TASB offices will be closed December 24–January 1. Happy holidays!