Coalition calls on Texas districts to remove police from schools

The national unrest over police violence has spread to schools, with several large districts, including Minneapolis and Seattle, severing their relationships with local police departments. In Texas, a coalition of juvenile justice groups has called on districts in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin to eliminate their police departments and instead use the funds for more mental health and counseling services.

Dallas ISD's school board has yet to take action, according to an article in the Dallas Morning News . In San Antonio ISD, the school board rejected the call to disband the department, but pledged to review discipline policies .

We have put together a short survey to gather input about the police presence in your districts. Your answers will help us advocate for you on school safety and discipline issues. Thank you in advance for taking time to answer our questions.
Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA program

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled against the Trump administration's efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, declaring in a 5-4 opinion that the 2012 initiative was inappropriately terminated by the Trump administration. The ruling means DACA will continue to protect more than 700,000 Americans, including more than 100,000 Texans, allowing them to attend school and work without fear of deportation.

"We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. "'The wisdom' of those decisions 'is none of our concern.' We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action." Click here to read more.
TEA expects in-person instruction in the fall; optional STAAR testing window extended
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told Gov. Greg Abbott this week that he expects schools to open in the fall for in-person instruction with health and safety guidelines in place. TEA will issue more guidance next week about class size and is expected to address funding for students attending virtual classes. Many districts are awaiting this guidance before finalizing calendars and options for instruction in August. However, several districts, including Fort Worth ISD and Northside ISD are giving students the option of enrolling in online-only classes in the fall. In Fort Worth, all teachers will report to school in person in August, regardless of whether they are teaching online, in the classroom or both.

We continue to update our FAQs about COVID-19 based on local, state and federal guidance. Check out what's new this week:

Keep in mind that our FAQs are not legal advice. Each school district will handle situations differently, so we strongly encourage members who have specific questions or concerns to call us at 888-879-8282 so we can help. Members also can submit general inquiries through our Ask-a-Lawyer portal.
Mother files suit after kids are moved to lower grade

Two Egyptian nationals who immigrated to the United States with their mother enrolled in school and began attending the third grade. Approximately three weeks after enrollment, they were removed from third grade and placed in second grade based on the results of assessments of their academic abilities. The mother filed a complaint with the school board and then in federal court, alleging that the district had discriminated against the students based on their national origin and had denied them an equal opportunity to participate in the educational process because it made no effort to overcome language barriers that the students may have had.  Click here to read more.
TEA making progress on
HB 3906 assessment changes

TEA is making progress on changes to student assessments required by House Bill 3906. Part of the bill eliminates STAAR writing tests in grades 4 and 7 in favor of a combined reading and writing exam. An advisory committee is working with TEA to redesign the reading language arts exam for grades 3-8 and volunteers are needed to serve on a focus group. TEA also continues to assess the feasibility of moving to an online-only format for STAAR testing. Click here to read more.
TRS seeks nominees for active educator position on board

TRS is now accepting nominations for eligible members to qualify as candidates for the election of the Public School District Employee position on the TRS Board of Trustees. The term begins as early as Sept. 1, 2021, and ends Aug. 31, 2027. Nominees may collect the required 250 signatures online or on paper. An eligible member for this election is a current employee of a public school district, charter school, or regional education service center. Click here for more information.
Nominate distinguished educators by July 24

TEA is asking school and district leaders to recommend classroom teachers, specialists and principals with at least five years of experience for inclusion in the Texas Distinguished Educator Recognition Pool. Nominated educators must demonstrate exceptional talent, have exemplary education accomplishments, show long-range potential for professional and policy leadership and have an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates students, colleagues and the community. Recommendations must be made by July 24.

Schools can apply for Purple Star Campus Designation
Senate Bill 1557 passed in the 2019 session will recognize public schools and open enrollment charters that show support and commitment to meeting the unique needs of military-connected students and their families. Applications for the Purple Star Campus Designation will be accepted through Aug. 28. Selected campuses will be announced in October. Click here to learn more and apply.
TEA seeking feedback on health, PE TEKS revisions
TEA is now accepting feedback on draft recommendations prepared by Work Group E for health education and physical education.
  • June 19 is Juneteenth.
  • June 21 is Father's Day.
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