Spotlight Texas

Texas Schools Suspended Tens of Thousands of Students in Second Grade or Younger, Report Says
Texas Schools Suspended Tens of Thousands of Students in Second Grade or Younger, Report Says

Texas schools issued more than 64,000 in-school suspensions to students in the second grade or younger during the 2015-16 school year, and a disproportionate number of those students were black, male, in foster care or in special education, according to a report released Monday by a children's advocacy group.

The report by Texans Care for Children also said that more than 36,000 students received out-of-school suspensions during that time. The following year, lawmakers passed a bill that banned out-of-school suspensions for students up to the second grade.

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A&M Expert Has Educators Asking: If Kansas Schools Need $2 Billion, How Much Do Texas' Need?
A&M Expert Has Educators Asking: If Kansas Schools Need $2 Billion, How Much Do Texas' Need?

Texas A&M University professor Lori Taylor has a reputation for being fiscally conservative when it comes to school finance.

When Texas school districts sued the state for underfunding public schools last decade, Taylor took the stand as an expert witness for Texas and said schools didn't need much more money than they already had. She recommended the state give the 46 school districts suing a boost of less than $1 million — after they demanded hundreds of millions more.

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This Texas Senior Applied to 20 Elite Colleges and Got a Full Ride to All of Them
This Texas Senior Applied to 20 Elite Colleges and Got a Full Ride to All of Them

A Texas high school senior has a lot of options for college: He's been offered full-ride scholarships at all 20 colleges he applied to.

Micheal Brown, a 17-year-old senior at Lamar High School in Houston, was accepted into elite private schools including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Stanford and Georgetown, The New York Times reported. He also got into small, selective liberal arts colleges and big public universities.

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In Texas, Falling Behind on Your Student Loan Payments Can Cost You Your License to Work
In Texas, Falling Behind on Your Student Loan Payments Can Cost You Your License to Work

When Roderick Scott Sr. submitted an application to renew his teacher's license in the summer of 2015, he thought the matter was handled. He had no idea that, months later, a decades-old Texas law would nearly derail his career as a middle school teacher in north Dallas because he'd defaulted on his student loans.

Over the course of three years, Scott said he swiftly lost a "dream job," was evicted, had his bank account garnished and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

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Marlin ISD Gets Formal Reprieve from State Closure
Marlin ISD Gets Formal Reprieve from State Closure

Marlin Independent School District will remain open for at least another year, now that the Texas Education Agency has granted the district an abatement agreement, Superintendent Michael Seabolt announced during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

First, however, the district’s state-appointed board of managers must approve the agreement, which the managers plan to do next month. The district received the agreement Tuesday afternoon, too late to get it on Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

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Texas Education Agency Asking For Public Input on Special Education Plan
Texas Education Agency Asking For Public Input on Special Education Plan

The Texas Education Agency has released its new plan for overhauling special education across the state.

The TEA has been working on the plan since federal officials found the state had illegally denied services to students with disabilities for years. The plan would create a professional statewide special education deployment system. It also calls for increasing special education staffing, providing better special education training for teachers and creating more tools for parents of children with suspected disabilities.

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Spring Break Dampens Texas Participation in Student Walkouts Protesting Gun Violence
Spring Break Dampens Texas Participation in Student Walkouts Protesting Gun Violence

Students around the nation walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes, symbolically honoring the 17 lives that were lost in last month's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. While organizers expected Texas students to join in, most schools were on spring break, so there were no classes to walk out of.

The shooting caused an eruption of conversation about gun violence among middle and high school students around the country, and they quickly turned their emotions into activism.

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$50,000 Pegasus Prize Boosts Center to Help Homeless Youths in Dallas
$50,000 Pegasus Prize Boosts Center to Help Homeless Youths in Dallas

There’s a makeshift shelter in the back of Fannie C. Harris Elementary, a shuttered Dallas ISD campus that sits in the shadows of the Cotton Bowl. A hastily erected curtain blocks the back entrance to the school, which has lain dormant for over a decade; a shopping cart filled with belongings sits nearby.

The campus, with boarded windows and a "for sale" sign out front, shows no hint that it will be bustling with activity in the coming months, serving as a haven not just for one individual but, hopefully, for hundreds of at-risk youth.

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Education Advocates, Leaders Start Wish List For Next Houston ISD Superintendent
Education Advocates, Leaders Start Wish List For Next Houston ISD Superintendent

Since Houston ISD’s Superintendent Richard Carranza announced this week he’s leaving for a job in New York, local leaders and education advocates have started to build their own wish list of what the district needs in its next superintendent.

In fact, the last time the HISD board of trustees searched for a new superintendent in 2016, they came up with a profile based on what community members wanted.

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Last Chance to Apply For TRTF Beginning Teacher Scholarships
Last Chance to Apply For TRTF Beginning Teacher Scholarships

Applications are due in full no later than 5:00 p.m. on March 15, 2018.

The Beginning Teacher Scholarship will reimburse applicants for certification tests and test results, and provide funds to help the applicant purchase materials for his or her classroom during his or her first year of teaching.

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