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Local News
Statewide News
Texas teacher advocates push back against additional certification requirements
The State Board for Educator Certification voted to move forward with an additional testing requirement for teachers called edTPA. Texas teachers are currently required to pass two tests prior to certification and critics worry that additional requirements will deter new teachers from entering the field amid a national teacher shortage.
Texas schools are majority Hispanic. There’s been a shortage of bilingual teachers since 1990, and the pandemic made it worse.
According to TEA, there are over 1 million English learners in Texas, and Hispanics make up over half of Texas’ student population. Administrators find it difficult to retain and recruit bilingual educators to fill the increasing need, particularly since the onset of the pandemic. 66% of all teachers have said they seriously considered leaving the profession in 2021.
Texas House Democrats want to cancel in-person STARR testing
To ensure test security, all STAAR testing will take place in person this year. TEA has allowed districts a window of 5 weeks to complete tests, but teacher groups wonder if this mass effort is the best use of time and resources to mitigate learning loss. Some Texas House Democrats are urging TEA to apply for another waiver for standardized testing from the federal government.
National News
GOP Lawmakers Push for Greater Control, Transparency Over School Curricula
In over a dozen states, lawmakers are backing bills meant to increase transparency and control over what is taught and how topics are presented in schools. Some bills would require schools to post detailed curriculum online for parent review, while others aim to allow parents to request notice anytime a teacher intends to teach anything divisive or controversial.
Some families are being forced to choose between remote learning and school meals
As schools returned to in-person learning in the all, many families that elected to keep their children enrolled in virtual options were no longer eligible for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) that was available throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The USDA states that virtual academies do not traditionally offer school meals, meaning many families are forced to choose between COVID fears and receiving free breakfast and lunch.
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