Texas Legislative Updates
- Last week, Texas Secretary of State, John Scott, the top elections official, stepped down. Gov. Abbott announced he will nominate retiring Senator Jane Nelson for the post.
- The Texas House Democratic Caucus elected Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer as their new chair, replacing Rep. Chris Turner.
- Days until the 88th Texas Legislative Session: 29 (January 10, 2023)
TEA & State Updates
- On Friday, the State Board for Educator Certification received an update on Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, the state’s largest alternative teacher certification company under scrutiny for not meeting numerous key standards. TEA is recommending the revocation of its accreditation after it failed to meet the conditions of its improvement plan. TEA and the company will attend a hearing before a judge, a process expected to last months. Emily Garcia, associate commissioner at TEA, told SBEC they will inform districts about the program’s status. For the time being, the company is still on probation, meaning those aiming to become teachers can still progress through the program as usual.
- Join the TEA Texas Education for Homeless Children and Youth (TEHCY) Program for a McKinney-Vento 201 Zoom webinar on Monday, December 12th from 2:00 – 3:30 pm. During this training, TEA TEHCY Program staff will dive deeper into the McKinney-Vento Act, including additional state requirements to support program implementation. This is the second training in the TEA McKinney-Vento training series. Register here
- An updated Industry-Based Certification (IBC) list from TEA is available here: 2022-24 Industry-Based Certification List for Public Accountability. No IBCs were removed from the list, and thirty-six IBCs were added.
DOE & National Updates
- Access to Head Start and Early Head Start for children living in poverty is too low and varies greatly across the states, according to the State(s) of Head Start and Early Head Start: Looking at Equity, a new report released last week by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Research showed significant drops in enrollment of children in poverty in Head Start and Early Head Start due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 257,000 fewer children in Head Start and 22,000 fewer in Early Head Start enrolling nationally.
- The DOE published new guidance to answer Frequently Asked Questions about how funding under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, including the American Rescue Plan ESSER (ARP ESSER) program, and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund may be used in response to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on students in pre-K–12 education. Read here.
Articles of Interest
- What’s next for Texas Teachers of Tomorrow? Officials brace for potential revocation
- A Texas program that backs school districts’ bond debt is about to reach its limit — and it could mean raising taxes
- Grief and trauma training is unexpectedly healing for school district staff in Texas
- New Fort Worth math curriculum teaches kids not just how to work with numbers, but why
- December 14, 2022 – Commission on Virtual Education hearing
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