March 2020

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A Vital Component of an Effective Board Is Its Dedication to True Involvement, Improvement Commitment to Community Engagement Also in This Edition: Champions of Inclusion PFISD’s Hendrickson High Earns National Recognition Hanging It Up Duncanville PACE High School Goes Phone-Free A Publication of the Texas Association of School Boards | Volume 38, Number 2 | March 2020 Texas Lone Star

Featured Event

TASB RISK MANAGEMENT FUND MEMBERS’ CONFERENCE

TASB Officers 2019-20

Lee Lentz-Edwards, Kermit ISD, President

Jim Rice, Fort Bend ISD, President-Elect

Ted Beard, Longview ISD, First Vice-President

Debbie Gillespie, Frisco ISD, Second Vice-President

Bob Covey, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Secretary-Treasurer

Jim de Garavilla, Silsbee ISD, Immediate Past President

TASB Board of Directors 2019-20

Moises Alfaro, Mathis ISD, Region 2

Kay Alley, Crosbyton CISD, Region 17

Rose Avalos, Aldine ISD, Region 4H

Kamlesh Bhikha, ESC 2, ESC Representative

Steve Brown, Ector County ISD, Region 18

Kevin A. Carbo, Mesquite ISD, Region 10D

Yolanda Cuellar, South Texas ISD, Region 1B

Thomas Darden, Cooper ISD, Region 8

Jason Dohnalik, Cameron ISD, Region 6

Karen Freeman, Northside ISD, Region 20B

Corinne French, Valley View ISD, Region 11D

Demetrio D. Garcia, Kenedy ISD, Region 3

Linda Gooch, Sunnyvale ISD, Region 10B

Mary Jane Hetrick, Dripping Springs ISD, Region 13B

Tony Hopkins, Friendswood ISD, Region 4C

Sandy Hughey, North East ISD, Region 20E

Bill Lacy, Katy ISD, Region 4E

Mark Lukert, Wichita Falls ISD, Region 9

Jayme Mathias, Austin ISD, Region 13A

Raymond P. Meza, San Felipe Del Rio CISD, Region 15

Dan Micciche, Dallas ISD, Region 10C

Vernagene Mott, Pflugerville ISD, Region 13C

Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez, Mission CISD, Region 1A

Nicholas Phillips, Nederland ISD, Region 5

Jacinto Ramos Jr., Fort Worth ISD, Region 11B

Page Rander, Clear Creek ISD, Region 4B

Georgan Reitmeier, Klein ISD, Region 4A

Armando Rodriguez, Canutillo ISD, Region 19B

Rolinda Schmidt, Kerrville ISD, Region 20A

Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Houston ISD, Region 4D

Cindy Spanel, Highland Park ISD, Region 16

Becky St. John, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, Region 11A

Mildred Watkins, La Vega ISD, Region 12

Greg Welch, Clyde CISD, Region 14

Robert Westbrook, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, Region

Person Training, Midland • TASB Spring Workshop, San Angelo

8 • TASB Facility Services Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Training, Midland

9

TASB Facility Services Best Practices: Construction Fundamentals

For more information about these events or deadlines, visit the TASB website at tasb.org or call TASB at 512.467.0222 or 800.580.8272 toll-free.

2 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org Calendar
20D
APRIL 20-21 • AUSTIN MARCH 2 • TASB BoardBook® Premier Onsite Training Event, Austin 3 • TASA/TASB/TASBO Budget Cohort for Texas District Leaders, Houston 4 • TASB HR Services “Supervisor’s Guide to Managing Employees” Workshop, Wichita Falls 10 • TASB Facility Services Asbestos Designated Person Training, Beaumont 11 • TASB Facility Services Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Training, Beaumont 12 • TASB Facility Services Indoor Air Quality Coordinator Training, Beaumont 24 • TASB Facility Services Asbestos Designated Person Training, White Settlement 25 • TASB Facility Services Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Training, White Settlement • TASB Spring Workshop, Kingsville 26 • TASB Risk Fund “A Crash Course in Vehicle Collision Investigations” Training, Killeen 26-28 • TASB Board of Directors Meetings, Austin 30 • TASB Spring Workshop, Wichita Falls 31 • TASB Facility Services Best Practices: Maintenance and Operations Training, Austin APRIL 1 • TASB Facility Services Best Practices: Hazardous Materials Response and Removal Training, Austin 2 • TASB Facility Services Best Practices: Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities Training, Austin • TASB Spring Workshop, Stephenville 4-5 • Texas Breakfasts at National School Boards Association (NSBA) Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois 4-6 • NSBA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois 7 • TASB Facility Services Asbestos Designated
TASB
TASB
TASB
Training, Midland 14-17 • State Board of Education Meetings, Austin 16 • TASB HR Services “Implementing Strategic HR Practices” Workshop, Victoria 20-21 • TASB Risk Management Fund Members’ Conference, Austin 21 • TASB Facility Services Asbestos Designated Person Training, Waco • TASB Spring Workshop, Lubbock 22 • TASB Facility Services Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Training, Waco • TASB Spring Workshop, Houston 23 •
Facility Services Indoor Air Quality Coordinator Training, Waco •
HR Services “Managing Personnel Records” Workshop, Richardson 28 •
HR Services “Implementing Strategic HR Practices” Workshop, Abilene
Rock
30-May 1 • TASB Special Education Solutions SHARS 2020 Conference, Round

Features

8 Commitment to Community Engagement

Research shows that the board that governs effectively to raise student achievement engages its community in the process of student learning.

Departments

2 Calendar 18 Legal News

22 Capital Watch

24 HR Files

30 News & Events

Columns

5 From the Top

7 Editor’s Footnote

30 Leadership TASB

42 Q & A

12 Champions of Inclusion

Pflugerville ISD’s Hendrickson High School earned national recognition recently for nurturing an environment of inclusion for all students.

16 Hanging It Up

Students at Duncanville ISD’s PACE High School are going phone-free during the school day—and the results are more engaged, focused learners.

Texas Lone Star • Volume 38, Number 2

Texas Association of School Boards

P.O. Box 400 • Austin, Texas • 78767-0400

512.467.0222 or 800.580.8272 (toll-free)

Roger White • Managing Editor

Melissa Locke Roberts • Assistant Editor

Shu-in Powell • Graphic Designer

Patrick Morris, Virginia Hernandez • Photographers

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Texas Lone Star (ISSN 0749-9310) is published 10 times a year by the Texas Association of School Boards. Copyright© 2020 by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). All rights reserved. Reproduction, adaptation, distribution, and exhibition in whole or in part are prohibited under penalty of law without the written license or permission of TASB. Copies of Texas Lone Star are mailed to trustees of TASB member school boards and their superintendents as part of their membership. Subscriptions are available to nonmembers for $36 (1 year), $69 (2 years), and $99 (3 years). Single copies are $5.

Address changes should be sent to Michael Pennant, TASB, P.O. Box 400, Austin, Texas 78767-0400.

Articles in Texas Lone Star are expressions of the author or interviewee and do not represent the views or policies of TASB. Permission to reprint should be addressed to the Managing Editor, P.O. Box 400, Austin, Texas 78767-0400.

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Contents | March 2020
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TASB’s Spring Workshops are gearing up. Find out more at tasb.org/ spring-workshops-2020

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The Right Thing

Choices Are Never Easy or Simple for Those in Leadership

Everyone in a leadership position makes choices that impact others. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, encourages readers to understand the difference between the circles of concern and influence. Both circles require individuals and leaders to make good choices. The circle of concern encompasses concerns from our families, problems at work, our health, global warming, government borrowing, or even the threat of war. The circle of influence encompasses things that we personally can do something about. We can be concerned about global warming, but one person cannot save the planet. The circle of influence is when we as individuals actually have a say or a vote to determine an outcome. However, one person can work to increase the concern of others and, therefore, encourage others to be concerned and work to influence others. This, in turn, can make a difference.

As we evaluate our personal decisions and the influence we have on others, we must consider whether the stance we take on issues is the right thing to do. Since childhood, the credo for many of us has been “do the right thing.” Periodically, we find ourselves struggling between what is right for us and what is right for us according to others. “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right,” cautioned Theodore Roosevelt. No matter what choice is made, others are always affected by our choices. In our jobs, we are paid to make good decisions. We need to make the right decisions for our company. We need to make the right choices as we work with our employees. In the school business, we always must consider what is the right

thing for students. Next, we must make decisions that are the right thing for staff. Administrative convenience is not the priority; the kids are!

The Cost of Change

The late US Army General Norman Schwarzkopf once shared, “The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” It also follows that wisdom is knowing the right path to take, while integrity is taking that path. British author and scholar C.S. Lewis advised, “Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” And Zig Ziglar, one of the most influential motivational speakers of our time, noted, “When you do the right thing in the right way, you have nothing to lose because you have nothing to fear.” As community leaders, we must not be afraid or even hesitate to do the right thing.

safety or learning in our schools seems easy enough. But what about the other thousands of decisions required to run an organization or school?

‘Go with Your Heart’

There is a saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. There is an opportunity cost for everything. In the school setting, all questions and decisions come back to our students. The right thing to do is to keep them first in all our decisions. Will the students be better off? If not, will the cost to institute the proposed project be beneficial without a negative effect on our students? If you are helping decide policy for an organization, will the organization benefit from the idea in the long run or will the proposal be just a momentary “flash in the pan” with residual effects?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There comes a time when one must take a

Change comes at a cost, sometimes referred to as “opportunity cost.” Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is ultimately chosen. It is another term for trade-off. Every time a choice is made, there is a trade-off being made. Decision makers must analyze what can be gained as well as what may be lost or given up. What is the right thing to do? Voting to approve a measure to increase

position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but we must take it because conscience tells us it is right.” We must do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular. So as each of you go forth and do great things, please follow the advice of that famous Texan George Strait: ”Go with your heart and do the right thing.”H

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 5 From the Top
Change comes at a cost, sometimes referred to as “opportunity cost.” Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is ultimately chosen.
standup4txpublicschools.org
She is counting on you. Speak up for our children. Speak up for Texas public schools.

Tops in Texas

Congratulations to National Blue Ribbon Nominees

As we were preparing this edition of Texas Lone Star for press, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced its list of Texas public schools that have been nominated for 2020 National Blue Ribbon School honors.

Twenty-six schools across the state were selected by TEA as tops in Texas with regard to exemplary student achievement and significant progress in closing achievement gaps.

Eagle Pass ISD

• Transmountain Early College High School, El Paso ISD

• Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences, Fort Worth ISD

• High School for Law and Justice, Houston ISD

• Young Women’s College Prep Academy, Houston ISD

• Heights Elementary School, Laredo ISD

• Langham Elementary School, Nederland ISD

• Windthorst Elementary School, Windthorst ISD

Exemplary Achievement-Gap-Closing Schools

• Alvarado Elementary South, Alvarado ISD

• Reilly Elementary School, Austin ISD

• Titche Elementary School, Dallas ISD

• Milam Elementary School, El Paso ISD

• Hobbs Williams Elementary School, Grand Prairie ISD

• Memorial Elementary School, Houston ISD

• West Main Elementary School, Lancaster ISD

• Levendecker Elementary School, Laredo ISD

• Kelly-Pharr Elementary School, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

• Redwater Junior High School, Redwater ISD

• Roberson Middle School, Spring ISD

• Vista Academy, Texas College Preparatory Academies

• Desertaire Elementary School, Ysleta ISD

Winners Announced in September

The nominated schools will complete a rigorous application process conducted by the US Department of Education (USDE); national award winners will be

(See Top, page 38.)

The nominated schools in Texas for 2020 are:

Exemplary High-Performing Schools

• Early College High School, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

• Windsor Park G/T Elementary School, Corpus Christi ISD

• Early Childhood Development Center, Corpus Christi ISD

• Longfellow Career Exploration Academy, Dallas ISD

• Lassiter Early College High School, Dallas ISD

• Kirchner Elementary School,

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Editor’s Footnote
Public Ed! Copyright 2020 TASB by White & Severns
Ed, I know that you’re excited about attending TASB’s Board Officers’ Academy, but...!!!
Twenty-six schools across the state were selected by TEA as tops in Texas with regard to exemplary student achievement and significant progress in closing achievement gaps.

Commitment to Community Engagement

A Vital Component of an Effective Board Is Its Dedication to True Involvement, Improvement

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What does eXceptional Governance® mean? It means engaging your community. The board that governs effectively to close achievement gaps and raise achievement for all students engages its community in the process of student learning. Research the past two years in Texas through TASB’s XG Project and GREAT (Governance Research Encouraging Achievement in Texas) Initiative confirms this relationship.

Visionary Team

Representing the community, an effective board involves its community in the development and articulation of a vision for improved student success in the community’s schools. A compelling vision requires input from as many voices as possible—including seniors, parents, young adults, staff, and students. An exceptional board elicits input and ideas from a broad spectrum of stakeholders and articulates the vision of success that that community has for its schools.

School board members are stewards of the people’s trust. They are trustees entrusted with the community’s two most precious resources— their children and their money. What does an effective board do if its community has low expectations for students? When the community struggles from apathy or low expectations for students, the effective school board works with the community to cultivate an inspiring vision of student success within the community. The exceptional board intentionally builds commitment for improving learning throughout the community.

Clear, Measurable Goals

The act of setting clear, reasonable, and measurable goals helps build trust within a community. Declaring a plan of action with measurable progress demonstrates intentions and commitment. Following through on that commitment inspires and invites ongoing community engagement. Gathering input from the community on goal areas can foster support among the community for the work of the district. Communicating about why certain goals are essential brings the community into the conversation about student needs and the district’s efforts to improve student success. Measuring progress and communicating progress on the goals build trust and confidence in the board and district, even when progress is less than ideal. eXceptional Governance requires clear and focused goals that target areas where improvement is essential for each student to experience success. Engaging the community in the conversations around goal setting and progress allows them the satisfaction of understanding what is most essential for improving achievement for all while closing gaps.

Student Voice

An essential part of the community, an eXceptional board wants to hear from students. The board engages them in discussions of monitoring progress and, ideally, engages them in the process of setting goals for improvement.

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As a primary customer in public education, students have perspectives on what’s working well for them, what’s not working well, and what needs to be done to foster improvement. Their voice is critical when it comes to developing new pathways for courses and lifelong success. They know better than anyone whether the education they are getting is meeting their needs and interests. An effective board engages its students, as a critical part of the overall community, in decisions that affect them and their learning directly.

Equity and Climate

An effective learning environment models respect, inclusiveness, and fairness. Students are obsessed with fairness. They are quick to detect even subtle mistreatment or marginalization of other students or staff. An effective board ensures there is fairness and equity in the treatment of all students, staff, and families. This includes allowance for cultural and heritage displays of identity. A safe and secure learning environment means that all students and staff are able to express themselves and their identity, as long as that doesn’t infringe upon the safety and security of others.

An eXceptional school board cultivates a culture of inclusion and respect. The board does not tolerate mistreatment of students or other members of the community. The board is intentional in reaching out to all stakeholders and remains connected to every group and individual in the community—even those unfavorable to their public schools or district initiatives. The board remembers that students are watching, and board members are mindful to model the behavior they desire among their staff and students.

Integrity and Ethics

As part of modeling the characteristics it wants in its students, the eXceptional board governs with integrity. The board is mindful of what is said about others—both publicly and privately. Board members speak respectfully of their fellow trustees, administrators, teachers, staff, students, and community members.

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An effective learning environment models respect, inclusiveness, and fairness. Students are obsessed with fairness. They are quick to detect even subtle mistreatment or marginalization of other students or staff.

The effective school board complies with the law, focuses intensely on improving student success, and participates in learning as a team. The board models the reflective practice it demands of staff and wants to inspire among its students. A vital component of integrity is that the board is not satisfied with the status quo and is always striving for more from its members, its staff, and its students.

For More Info

TASB is promoting ongoing research into what constitutes good governance. For more information, go to tasb.org/trustees/build-better-boards/ board-development/xg-project-exceptional-governance/what-is-the-xgproject.aspx.

If you would like to contribute to research on school governance or know more about TASB’s GREAT Initiative, contact Phil Gore at phil.gore@ tasb.org H

Phil Gore is TASB division director of Board Development Services.

XG Summit Coming in November

Every other year, TASB hosts the XG Summit, a one-of-a-kind learning experience that takes a deep dive into school governance research presented by education experts who are passionate about keeping the board stabilized and focused on improving student outcomes. The 2020 XG Summit is scheduled for November 9-10 in Austin.

If you love to learn from data and research or are looking to take your trustee development to a new level, the XG Summit is for you. For more information, visit tasb.org/trustees/expand-your-knowledge/events/ xg-summit.aspx or contact Phil Gore, TASB division director of Board Development Services, at phil.gore@tasb.org.

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Champions Of Inclusion

PFISD’s Hendrickson High Earns National Recognition

For years now, the administrators, faculty, staff, and students at Pflugerville ISD’s Hendrickson High School have been working on something very special—they’ve been working on creating and nurturing an environment of genuine inclusion. The culture shift on campus has been tangible; all students of every ability are welcomed, included, recognized, and encouraged. And now others have taken notice.

During a special video presentation last fall, Hendrickson High was recognized by Special Olympics North America and the ESPN network as one of the top schools in the nation for inclusion. ESPN anchor Hannah Storm announced that the school was a recipient of the national banner of honor, awarded to only five schools nationwide.

“All schools who join the inclusion revolution are on the right track to making our world a more inclusive place, but these national banner presentations are given exclusively to the elite Unified Champion Schools who have met the 10 national standards of inclusion and have been nominated by their state’s Special Olympics program,” Storm said.

Earlier, Hendrickson had been named to the 2019 ESPN Honor Roll as part of its Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools National Recognition Program, joining 33 other high schools and universities as finalists for the national banner awards.

Pflugerville ISD Special Olympics Coordinator Amy Wiesenhutter said that the national honor was earned through all of the efforts by the students and staff to include everyone.

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“I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Hawk Nation,” Wiesenhutter said. “These students have totally created a climate of acceptance for all through many different activities. The environment of Hendrickson High School has been greatly impacted by the students generating a total unified movement and choosing to include. Congratulations to Hendrickson on this well-deserved national recognition.”

Whole-School Movement

Unified Champion Schools are recognized for their work in creating an inclusive environment on campus for all, broadening the focus beyond Special Olympics events to encompass a whole-school movement for inclusion. Through the program, teachers, students, and staff are encouraged to work together to create supportive classrooms, inclusive schoolwide activities, and opportunities for growth and success.

The Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities that create systemwide change. With sports as the foundation, the program offers a unique combination of activities that equip young people with the tools and training to create sports, classroom, and school climates of acceptance.

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Members of Hendrickson High School’s Unified Bowling Team take time out from polishing up on their bowling skills to smile for the camera. Students of all abilities are encouraged to participate at Hendrickson. Photo courtesy of Pflugerville ISD
The environment of Hendrickson High School has been greatly impacted by the students generating a total unified movement and choosing to include.

In Unified Champion Schools, students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in all activities, opportunities, and functions. This is accomplished by implementing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and campuswide engagement. The program is designed to be woven into the fabric of the school, enhancing current efforts and providing rich opportunities that lead to meaningful change in creating a socially inclusive school that supports and engages all learners.

“This award is a testament to the inclusive culture at Hendrickson High School that has been created and nurtured by amazing students, staff, and school community,” said

Hendrickson High Principal Daniel Garcia. “I am grateful to Hawk Nation staff members Maggie Jashinsky and Amy Wiesenhutter for their tireless leadership and work on behalf of our students. They both understand the importance of having all our voices heard and the value in providing leadership and inclusive opportunities.”

‘Nothing Short of Amazing’

“We could not be prouder of the movement that is going on at Hendrickson High School,” said Pflugerville ISD Board President Vernagene Mott. “While a lot of great things were already happening at Hendrickson, implementing this program has truly changed the climate of this campus. To see our students with disabilities be included in every aspect on a school campus has been nothing short of amazing.”

To qualify for Unified Champion School national banner recognition, a school must demonstrate commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. An important component of these standards is that of continuity, which stresses that “strategies and plans that help ensure that Unified Champion School components will continue into the future and truly become part of the school culture. Examples include such things as student fundraising, Unified Booster Clubs, or Unified Sports/Club expenses included

Collecting money and supplies for a fund drive supporting Unified Champion Schools at Hendrickson High are (kneeling at front) student Chapman Ross and (standing from left) students Olivia Fish and Mayson Stephens, staff member Charles Gallegos, and student Samantha Derderian. Photos courtesy of Pflugerville ISD
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An important component of these standards is that of continuity, which stresses that “strategies and plans that help ensure that Unified Champion School components will continue into the future and truly become part of the school culture.

in school budgets.” The standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.

Other schools to receive national banners of recognition from the Special Olympics and ESPN are Bullitt East High School of Mount Washington, Kentucky; Fife High School of Fife, Washington; Miami Southridge Senior High School of Miami, Florida; and Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.

Special Olympics North America and ESPN representatives will visit the Hendrickson campus March 9 for presentation of the national Unified Champion School banner. The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Hendrickson High School gymnasium.

Mott noted that the district hopes to expand the program to other campuses. “There are plans to implement this wonderful program at all of our high schools in the district, and, hopefully, it will filter down to all schools. Together, Pflugerville ISD is creating a ‘Unified Generation’ that chooses to include.”

For more information about the district’s inclusion initiatives, contact Pflugerville ISD Special Olympics Coordinator Amy Wiesenhutter at Amy.Wiesenhutter@pfisd.net. For more information about the Special Olympics and the Unified Champion Schools program, visit www.espn.com/ specialolympics H

Roger White is managing editor of Texas Lone Star.

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Fellow students and staff celebrate as student Ronnie Brown is crowned Hendrickson High School’s Homecoming King at the Hawks’ 2019 homecoming game.

Hanging It Up

Duncanville PACE High School Goes Phone-Free

Each morning, students at Duncanville ISD’s PACE High School place their cell phones in a magnetic, lockable pouch. The device stays with them but is not accessible until it is time to go home.

Students at Duncanville ISD’s PACE High School are doing something radically different this school year. They’re saying so long to screen time and going phone-free during the school day.

Each morning, students place their cell phones in a magnetic, lockable pouch. The device stays with them but is not accessible until it is time to go home.

Principal Tijuana Hudson says she and teachers were looking for a way to avoid the distraction cell phones present at the alternative school, where about 90 students enrolled in 10th through 12th grades are working at their own pace to graduate. After some initial pushback, Hudson says students are more engaged and focused on their studies.

“They have realized class is going by faster,” said math teacher Becky Hibbits.

Phone-Use Studies

The decision at PACE High School follows years of academic studies that found cell phone use in the classroom can have a negative impact on studies.

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Teachers and students at PACE High School have noticed that in addition to the increase in achievement, without devices the entire school culture is changing. Students are talking with each other.

One of the studies, conducted in May 2015 by the Centre for Economic Performance, focused on students in four cities in England. The results were different depending on the student group.

Researchers found that without cell phones in the classroom, low-achieving students saw more than a 14-percent improvement in achievement but that high achievers were impacted very little by the removal of cellular devices. The study concluded high achievers are better able to focus despite having cell phones present, while lower achievers were more apt to be distracted.

School districts in the United States and other countries have acted on that research. For example, the French government enacted a law in July 2018 banning cell phones in schools. The policy, which affects students from kindergarten through ninth grade, took effect in the 2018-19 school year.

There are arguments, however, that smartphones can be beneficial for schoolwork. Among other advantages, cell phones make it easier to type and organize notes, provide calendars for keeping track of assignments, and include applications that allow students to connect and discuss their schoolwork.

More Students on Track

At Duncanville ISD’s PACE High School, the phone-free initiative is relatively new but has already had a positive effect on students’ schoolwork. The percentage of students who

are ahead or on track for their targeted graduation dates has increased by an average of 10 percent compared to the 2018-19 school year. Students who are on track or ahead in some core courses have seen an increase as high as 29 percent.

Yondr, the company that sells the locking pouch system, initially targeted large events. The pouches were used to allow people to be completely engaged at concerts and other events. The vendor has expanded into the educational realm and now boasts partnerships with thousands of schools in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Teachers and students at PACE High School have noticed that in addition to the increase in achievement, without devices the entire school culture is changing. During the lunch hour, rather than spending time scrolling on social media, students are talking to each other.

“The atmosphere has seemed more positive,” said senior Matthew McKinney. “I’m always used to having my phone right here. Not having it for eight hours during the day changes you.”

Administrators at PACE High School and Duncanville ISD will be closely watching students’ progress throughout the remainder of the school year to determine whether the decision to disconnect from cell phones ultimately improves student performance and the overall educational experience.H

Lari Barager is director of External Communications for Duncanville ISD. For more information about this story, e-mail Lari at lbarager@duncanvilleisd.org or call 972.708.2085 .

Photos courtesy of Duncanville ISD
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Up in E-Smoke?

A Q&A on Vaping in Texas Public Schools

Use of vaping devices, also called electronic or e-cigarettes, has had a sudden rise among teens. In 2019, more than 5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.1 In addition to cancer-causing chemicals, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that can be harmful to young brains.

In response to this troubling trend, school districts are taking steps to prevent the spread of e-cigarette use among students. Following is a Q&A on vaping in Texas public schools.

Q: Is vaping prohibited for students in Texas public schools?

A: Yes. By state law, school boards must prohibit students from smoking, using, or possessing e-cigarettes or tobacco products at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property.2

prohibitions against the use of all tobacco products, e-cigarettes, or any other electronic vaporizing device, by students and all others on school property and at school-sponsored and school-related activities.”

Q: Is vaping permitted by adults on school property or at school events?

A: No. School boards must prohibit anyone from smoking or using e-cigarettes or tobacco products at a schoolrelated or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property.3 School boards must also ensure that district personnel enforce the policies on school property.4 Typically, a school district prohibits vaping (as well as smoking and related activities) at TASB Policy Codes DH, FNCD, and GKA, as well as in the district’s student code of conduct, student handbook, and employee handbook.

This prohibition covers all individuals, regardless of whether they are adult

chanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit to deliver nicotine or other substances to the individual inhaling from the device. The term does not include a prescription medical device unrelated to the cessation of smoking.5

Q: Is a student subject to disciplinary consequences if he or she is caught with a vaping device?

Many districts have adopted language from TASB’s Model Student Handbook, which states, “[s]tudents are prohibited from possessing or using any type of tobacco product, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), or any other electronic vaporizing device, while on school property at any time or while attending an off-campus school-related activity. The district and its staff strictly enforce

students, active military, employees, volunteers, parents, or visitors.

Q: Why doesn’t the word “vaping” appear in the Texas Education Code or school district policies?

A: Texas law refers to vaping as the use of an e-cigarette. E-cigarette means an electronic cigarette or any other device that simulates smoking by using a me-

A: Yes. TASB’s Model Student Code of Conduct lists as prohibited items “tobacco products; cigarettes; e-cigarettes; and any component, part, or accessory for an e-cigarette device.” The model code also prohibits possessing, using, giving, or selling paraphernalia related to any prohibited substance, as well as using, abusing, or selling look-alike drugs, which may include vaping devices or substances in some cases.

Because vaping devices can be used to ingest illegal drugs, it is important to note that codes of conduct prohibit illegal drugs, including:

• Possessing, using, giving, or selling

18 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org Legal News
This prohibition covers all individuals, regardless of whether they are adult students, active military, employees, volunteers, parents, or visitors.

alcohol or an illegal drug, and

• Possessing seeds or pieces of marijuana, even in less than a usable amount.

For more information about the use of a vaping device to ingest CBD, THC, or other forms of cannabis, see TASB Legal Services’ Legal Questions about CBD and Marijuana in Schools online on tasb.org in the TASB School Law eSource pages.

Q: Do school districts have an obligation to warn students and parents about vaping?

A: Yes. To reach parents, each school district’s local school health advisory council is required by law to publish notice in the student handbook and on the district’s website that the district has adopted and enforces policies and procedures that prescribe penalties for tobacco and e-cigarette use.6

In addition, local school health advisory councils are charged with recommending instruction to prevent

Find out what thousands of school board members already know.

It’s all at tasb.org/trustees:

l Report and view continuing education credit

l Read exclusive articles and how-to’s

l View a calendar of upcoming events and actions you need to take

Access password-protected areas of tasb.org with your myTASB user ID and password.

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 19
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substance abuse.7 Substance abuse means a patterned use of a substance, including alcohol or a controlled substance as defined by Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 481, in which the person consumes the substance in amounts or with methods that are harmful to the person’s self or to others.8 A local council could recommend student instruction about the risks of vaping.

Q: How did the law on cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products change in the most recent legislative session?

A: The law changed by raising the legal age for purchasing the products. In 2019, the Texas Legislature took the important step of changing the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to 21. It is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 to possess, purchase, consume, or receive such products under the age of 21 or to falsely represent oneself as 21 years of age in order to possess, purchase, consume, or receive such product.9

State law prohibits selling or giving cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to a person under the age of 21 and requires proof of identification for the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to a person under the age of 30. The law includes an exception if the person to whom the product is sold is at least 18 years of age and presents at the time of purchase a valid military identification card of the US military or state military forces.10 One motivation for the Legislature to change the legal age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarettes was to get the products out of the hands of the school-age population.

Q: What resources can school districts use to teach students and parents about the risks of vaping?

A: Several free online resources can help: The University of Texas Health Science Center collaborates on the

largest school-based health promotion program in the nation, the Coordinated Approach to Child Health, or CATCH. CATCH offers a free training module on vaping called CATCH My Breath (https:// catchinfo.org/modules/e-cigarettes/).11

The Texas Department of State Health Services maintains a website titled E-Cigarettes and Vaping (dshs.state.tx.us/ tobacco/E-Cigarettes/), which includes links about how to talk to young people about the risks.12

The Centers for Disease Control published an online fact sheet titled E-cigarettes and Youth: What Educators and Coaches Need to Know (see cdc. gov/tobacco/basic_information/ e-cigarettes/).13

The Texas Education Agency (tea. texas.gov) also offers resources about substance abuse prevention, including

Substance Abuse Prevention Resources14 and Evidence-Based Prescription Drug Awareness Programs.15

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas School Safety Center offer online fact sheets and presenter notes at Say What! Live Tobacco Free (txsaywhat.com).16H

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, About Electronic Cigarettes (Nov. 26, 2019).

2Tex. Educ. Code § 38.006(b).

3Tex. Educ. Code § 38.006(b)(1).

4Tex. Educ. Code § 38.006(b)(3).

5Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.081(1-a).

6Tex. Educ. Code § 28.004(k)(3)(C).

7Tex. Educ. Code § 28.004(c)(2)(E).

8Tex. Educ. Code § 5.001(9).

9Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.252(a), (d).

10Tex. Health & Safety Code § 161.252(c-1).

11https://catchinfo.org/modules/e-cigarettes/

12dshs.state.tx.us/tobacco/E-Cigarettes/

13cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/ pdfs/OSH-E-Cigarettes-and-Youth-What-Educatorsand-Coaches-Need-to-Know-20190327-508.pdf

14tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Other_Services/Mental_Health/Substance_Abuse_Prevention

15tea.texas.gov/Academics/Subject_Areas/Health_ and_Physical_Education/Evidence-Based_Prescription_Drug_Awareness_Programs

16txsaywhat.com/index

Joy Baskin is division director of TASB Legal Services.

20 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
RSVP at tasb.org/texasbreakfast by March 25. While the breakfasts are free, reservations are required. Join TASB for the Texas Breakfasts at the NSBA Annual Conference April 4–6 Chicago Texas attendees are invited to enjoy complimentary breakfasts Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5, 7–8:30 a.m., at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.
In 2019, the Texas Legislature took the important step of changing the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to 21.
requires school boards seeking a TRE to conduct an EFFICIENCY AUDIT before the election. Partner with our EFFICIENCY EXPERTS to get an AOK on efficiency so you can focus on getting a YES EFFICIENCY AUDITS, INTERNAL AUDITS, RESEARCH, PROGRAM EVALUATION, DATA DASHBOARDS A TASB Affinity Partner gibsonconsult.com Call 512.328.0885 today!
HB3

Dialogue

Texas Trustees Take Advocacy to Washington

More than 90 local leaders from Texas school districts joined hundreds of other trustees and superintendents from across the country in Washington, DC, at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Advocacy Institute February 2–4. They learned about important federal education issues impacting Texas school districts, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and heard about policy and trends from federal lawmakers and pundits.

During their Capitol Hill visits, members of the Texas delegation met with US Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and various members of the Texas congressional delegation.

Approximately 30 Texas school board members earned a stipend to attend the Advocacy Institute from TASB to cover the cost of conference registration.

Poll Results

At the Advocacy Institute, NSBA presented results of a nationwide survey of voter opinions and attitudes, which indicated that many voters fully support public education and are opposed to taking away funds from public schools for private or for-profit charters.

The poll covered a variety of topics,

including funding for public schools, public funds for private schools, oversight of charter schools, attitudes about teachers and public schools, and technology in education.

Some key findings include the following:

• Sixty-four percent of respondents think funding for public schools should be increased.

• Seventy-three percent agree with the statement that funds should not be taken away from public schools to fund private, religious, and home-school education.

• Sixty-four percent are less likely to vote for an elected official who supports taking away funds from public schools to give to private schools.

• Sixty-five percent agree that local school boards should have oversight of charter schools as they do for other public schools since they are taxpayer funded.

• Seventy-two percent are favorable to public schools in their community.

• Fifty-eight percent are favorable to local school boards.

Full results of the poll are available online at nsbac.org/2020-poll. NSBA and TASB encourage members to share this information with colleagues and communities as we work to build support for public schools.

Call for Advocacy Resolutions

Make sure your district’s advocacy issues are represented in the TASB Advocacy Agenda by submitting your district’s resolutions during TASB’s call for resolutions. Advocacy resolutions guide TASB’s response to legislative issues and are submitted directly by member districts. TASB will accept resolutions from April 1 through June 15. Begin discussing proposed resolutions with your board now.

The current Advocacy Agenda will expire following the TASB Delegate Assembly October 3; member districts are encouraged to submit new resolutions or resolutions from the current agenda they wish to see carried forward. The new agenda will guide TASB’s advocacy efforts during the 2021 legislative session.

Current resolutions may be found at tasb.org/Legislative/TASB-AdvocacyAgenda/2018-20-Agenda/Resolutions.aspx For more information, visit gr.tasb.org or contact Dax Gonzalez at 800.580.4885 or dax.gonzalez@tasb.org.H

22 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org Capital Watch
Dax Gonzalez is division director of TASB Governmental Relations.
At the Advocacy Institute, NSBA presented results of a nationwide survey of voter opinions and attitudes.
The Texas contingent smiles for the camera at the 2020 NSBA Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC. More than 90 local leaders from Texas school districts attended the conference, held February 2-4.

Need-to-know information for boards hiring a new superintendent

Guide to help you better understand your superintendent’s contract

Legal principles relating to recruitment, hiring, and contracting with a new superintendent

Sample contracts, optional clauses, and contract addenda

Benefits as unique as your school district. The TASB Benefits Cooperative can help you customize the benefits you offer. Since we’re carrier-neutral, you can choose the carriers that work best for your district. And your employees can choose the plans that work best for them. Benefits for everyone. benefits.firstpublic.com 800.558.8875 texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 23 Legal Services’ Guide to Superintendent Contracts can walk you through it from start to finish. Available in the Legal section of myTASB. Overwhelmed by the superintendent hiring process?

Know Your Role

Notes on the Board’s Function in Hiring Personnel

Understanding the board’s role in hiring requires experience and knowledge of statutory governance and administrative responsibilities, accountability issues, effective hiring practices, and good communication between the board and superintendent. When these things are not in place, the perception that a board wants to influence whom administrators hire may develop.

A board member’s attitude and understanding of the board’s role in hiring changes with experience. A common misconception for new board members is the school board has direct input into individual hiring decisions.

specific administrative hiring responsibilities and stresses that the board’s role in the process for employees other than the superintendent is one of oversight only.

Employment Policies

TEC requires boards to adopt policy that provides for the employment of district personnel (TEC §11.1513). The development and adoption of policy provide guidance to administrators responsible for the process of employing district staff. The most significant decisions boards are required to make are policy decisions: what kinds of contracts will be used, which positions will be employed by con-

fine the process and hearing requirements for terminations and nonrenewals.

New board members, especially those in medium and large districts, may find the process of voting on hiring recommendations overwhelming. In these districts, a fair number of individuals are presented to the board for contract approval. Within a short time, new board members will realize they must trust the hiring processes and rely on the superintendent or human resources administrator’s insight into the needs of each position and curriculum or subject matter expertise.

As knowledge of good governance practices and statutory requirements develops, board members will understand that Texas Education Code (TEC) defines

tract, who has final authority for hiring decisions, and who will define the terms of employment.

Boards must also establish the job qualifications for principals (TEC §11.202(c)). Other policies boards may adopt that affect the hiring process include establishing criteria to be considered when making personnel decisions, vacancy posting requirements, and restrictions on the hiring and supervision of relatives.

Policy decisions on contracts must be made by the board and may not be delegated to the superintendent because they establish the district’s legal burden to provide due process to employees and de-

The contract provisions of Chapter 21 of TEC dictate that full-time professional employees and administrators whose positions require certification through the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) be employed by contract. When hired, they generally receive a probationary contract.1 The board’s policy decision determines which type of contract is offered after the probationary period (TEC §21.002(c)). Boards also have the freedom to determine if any other positions will receive contracts and the types of contracts used.

Delegation of Authority

Boards have the option to delegate authority for hiring and authority to determine terms of employment to the superintendent. Boards retaining authority to hire contract personnel are limited by statute to accepting or rejecting the superintendent’s recommendations (TEC §11.1513).

Most boards retain final hiring authority for contract personnel and

24 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
HR Files
A common misconception for new board members is the school board has direct input into individual hiring decisions.

delegate to the superintendent the authority to hire all noncontract personnel. Some boards delegate hiring authority of professional staff to the superintendent to increase quality and timeliness of the hiring process. A board may take action in the late spring to relinquish authority to the superintendent for the peak hiring season or modify its policy to permanently give summer-month hiring authority to the superintendent.

Defining the terms of employment is another significant decision. This includes determining content details and length of contracts. Most districts use the model contracts developed by TASB Legal Services to ensure contract language aligns with statutory requirements and guidance provided through commissioner and court decisions.

Hiring Processes

The hiring process involves mostly administrative duties, including establishing hiring criteria and qualifications for specific positions, recruiting and interviewing applicants, conducting background checks, and presenting recom-

2020 Spring Workshops!

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 25
Training without all the travel.
Take advantage of our most popular training sessions offered in multiple locations across the state. Visit tasb.org/board-dev and navigate to Events for more information about Spring Workshops, including registration details. Kingsville • Texas A&M University—Kingsville • March 25 Wichita Falls • Region 9 Education Service Center • March 30 Stephenville • Tarleton State University • April 2 San Angelo • Region 15 Education Service Center • April 7 Lubbock • Region 17 Education Service Center • April 21 Houston • Region 4 Education Service Center • April 22 Alpine • Sul Ross State University • May 4 Iraan-Sheffield • Iraan-Sheffield Elementary School • May 5 El Paso • Region 19 Education Service Center • May 7 Commerce • Texas A&M University—Commerce • May 11 Nacogdoches • Stephen F. Austin State University • May 12 Canyon • West Texas A&M University • May 13 Huntsville • Region 6 Education Service Center • May 14 South Padre Island • South Padre Island Convention Center • May 15 &16 Abilene • Region 14 Education Service Center • May 18 Waco • Region 12 Education Service Center • May 19 Uvalde • Uvalde ISD-Benson Educational Complex • May 27

mendations to the board. Board members should be familiar with the district’s hiring procedures and the criteria used to make hiring decisions. They can learn what they need to know by reviewing relevant policies (see inset on page 28) and consulting their superintendents.

Boards with final selection authority know that their role is limited to approving or rejecting superintendent recommendations. But that shouldn’t deter a board member from asking important questions about the candidate’s qualifications and what makes a candidate the best person for the job when the recommendation is presented.

The board has an active role in setting job qualifications for the superintendent and principals and must adopt policies that define these qualifications. Qualifications for other positions are defined through written job descriptions developed by administrators. The following qualifications should be established by the local district for all positions:

• Skills, knowledge, and abilities needed

• Years of experience required

• Type of experience needed

State certification requirements for instructional positions and license requirements for professional positions such as nurse and speech language pathologist are minimum standards. Districts are free to set higher standards to meet local needs.

The Impact of Accountability

The line between board and administrative hiring duties is defined by statute and relates to the focus on accountability at the district and campus levels. TEC gives the superintendent authority to organize the central administration, and boards need to allow their superintendents to hire candidates for the management teams who will support the superintendent in meeting the goals set by the board (TEC §11.201(d)(10)).

It’s important for a superintendent to keep the board informed of his or her management organization plans, especially in the event of a reorganization. It is best practice for the superintendent to communicate plans to the board so the board has an opportunity to ask questions and be aligned with the plan.

Organizing and selecting the central administration and district management team may involve transferring and promoting current employees. A promotion that results in an employee being moved into a different position with more responsibility and higher pay may require board action. Selecting an internal employee to fill a job vacancy that is a promotion or in a different professional capacity is a hiring decision on which the board must act unless district policy

26 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org Introducing Learn More tasb.org/student-solutions-tls studentsolutions@tasb.org 888.247.4829 Focus on what’s important. Our experienced staff can help you focus on building positive outcomes for your special populations through: • Solutions-focused review of all special populations programs • Data-based special education staffing analysis
Tailored capacity-building
Special education program operating procedures
The line between board and administrative hiring duties is defined by statute and relates to the focus on accountability at the district and campus levels.

grants final authority for selection decisions to the superintendent.

A transfer of location or duties that are equivalent in pay, on the other hand, is a reassignment. Transfers don’t require board consideration and action because TEC gives the superintendent the authority to assign personnel.

The hiring process may include posting positions internally and/or advertising outside the district. A vacancy for a position that requires an SBEC certificate or professional license (e.g., nurse, speech language pathologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, social worker, physician) must be posted for at least 10 school days prior to filling the position. There is no legal requirement to post or advertise other positions, although it is a

practice that contributes to a perception of fairness and equal opportunity with district employees and the community (TEC §11.1513(d)).

Campus Roles and Authority

At the campus level, the principal is given the authority to approve teacher and staff appointments to his or her campus (TEC §11.202(b)(1)). Principals interview applicants and make hiring recommendations to the superintendent. TEC requires that the principal informally consult with faculty to develop hiring criteria.

Statute does not mandate that the site-based decision-making committee that includes staff, parents, and community members be part of the hiring

process. The role of campus committees is determined by the district’s plan and should reflect the principal’s authority to approve staff appointments and intent to involve faculty in the selection process.

Site-based committees are required by TEC only to advise principals on staffing patterns. That means they must be consulted on the types of positions a campus should have, not on who fills them. For example, a principal might consult with the site-based committee on options for utilizing personnel allocations or staffing requests for the campus budget.

Not to be confused with the sitebased decision-making committee, a different faculty committee may be involved with the selection of staff.

General Session Speakers

RICK RIGSBY

Motivational Speaker, Educator, Author

Dr. Rick Rigsby is best known for his viral speech that garnered over 130 million views. He was a college professor at Texas A&M and chaplain for the football team. He motivates and inspires audiences and has published two popular non-academic books.

GREGG WARD

Author, Speaker, Executive Coach

San Antonio

June 17–20

Marriott Rivercenter

DON’T FORGET!

Fort Worth

June 24–27

Omni

• April 1 — Housing opens at 9 a.m.

• April 29 — Registration opens

Gregg Ward transform lives through his writing, speaking, consulting, and development programs that focus on respectful leadership, emotional intelligence, and executive presence. Gregg has delivered more than 2,500 presentations around the world.

PEARL ARREDONDO

Educator, Advocate, and Author

Visit tasb.org/SLI for more information.

Pearl Arredondo founded the first pilot media-focused middle school established in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Pearl advocates for closing the digital divide and is passionate about increasing student access to technology in all schools.

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 27

Districts and campuses across the state involve faculty in the hiring process in a variety of ways. Some districts and campuses involve faculty committees in employee interviews. Others informally consult the faculty on hiring criteria. Either is appropriate as long as final authority and accountability for approval of personnel at the campus level rests with the principal.

Trust and Communication

When hiring for key positions in which the community has an interest, it is important for the board and superintendent to discuss priorities, qualifications, and characteristics before the hiring process begins. The board’s role in hiring key people should be exactly the same as it is for any other position, even when the community pressures the board to intercede.

Key conditions for accepting the superintendent’s recommendations in all areas are trust and communication. Trust is strengthened over time and reinforced by hiring and staffing that results in progress toward district goals, successful performance, and retention of quality staff. Communication—being open about successes and problems—is important.H

1There are limited exceptions to the requirement to employ individuals new to the district on a probationary contract (e.g., experienced principal or teacher).

April Mabry is assistant director of TASB HR Services.

The Board’s Role in Hiring Personnel

The board adopts policies and standards for hiring, assigning, appraising, terminating, and compensating school district personnel in compliance with state laws and rules (Framework for School Board Development).

Important Tips

Review superintendent’s job description and policy to become familiar with the roles of board and superintendent in hiring and what authority the board has delegated to the superintendent.

Be familiar with all hiring policies and practices dealing with the following:

• The types and terms of contracts

• Criteria to be considered when making personnel decisions

• The qualifications of principals

If concerned about key positions (i.e., top-level administrators and principals), discuss specific qualifications and priorities with the superintendent before the hiring process begins and not after recommendations are made.

Ask appropriate questions when a recommendation is brought before the board, including the following:

• What are the candidate’s qualifications?

• What makes this candidate the best person for the job?

Good Hiring Practices

Good hiring practices typically include the following:

• Written job descriptions define specific hiring criteria and the duties of each position.

• Recruiting and selection procedures ensure the district hires the most qualified candidate for each position and does not discriminate.

• Administrators obtain appropriate background checks and references on prospective employees.

• Interviewers receive training in effective interviewing techniques and employment discrimination laws.

Policies Relating to Selection of Personnel*

BAA: Board Legal Status—Powers and Duties

BJA: Superintendent—Qualifications and Duties

DAA: Employment Objectives—Equal Employment Opportunity

DAB: Employment Objectives—Genetic Nondiscrimination

DBA: Employment Requirements and Restrictions—Credentials and Records

DBE: Employment Requirements and Restrictions—Nepotism

DC series: Employment Practices

DP: Personnel Positions

*Policy references correspond with the coding structure of TASB localized policy manuals.

28 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
When hiring for key positions in which the community has an interest, it is important for the board and superintendent to discuss priorities, qualifications, and characteristics before the hiring process begins.
texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 29

‘Embracing Differences’ Leadership TASB Class Explores Diversity in Houston

LEADERSHIP TASB

Editor’s note: Leadership TASB is a unique board development program designed to take experienced board members to a new level of service and leadership by exposing them to a variety of issues, people, activities, and locations during a year-long program. Leadership TASB columns, written by class members, track the progress and share the experiences of each year’s class throughout the year.

Thirty-five school board members from across Texas gathered in Houston November 7-9, 2019, for the second session of the Leadership TASB Class of 2020. I was fortunate to be one of them, chosen by TASB through a selective application process to participate in a yearlong education leadership study program. The trustees represent diverse school district populations, ranging from fewer than 200 to more than 200,000.

The theme for this session’s workshops and field experiences was “Where Leadership Happens through Embracing Differences.” Leadership TASB facilitator Bill Rutherford prepared an ambitious agenda loaded with learning opportunities. Throughout the session, whether riding on the bus or sitting in a meeting room, we talked about issues confronting public education. The cohort visited three diverse districts in the Houston-Harris County region: Alief ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, and Stafford MSD. Finally, we also heard from two featured speakers and received enrichment from our classmates through interactive activities and district information presentations.

Innovative Programs in Alief

The first day’s session started with a bus tour around Alief ISD, among the most diverse districts in the state. During the bus ride, Deputy Superintendent Charles Woods spoke about some of Alief ISD’s challenges and triumphs, including a 40-percent student mobility rate, a 44-percent limited-English-proficient population, and more than 80 languages spoken by more than 20,000 English language learners.

Woods went on to explain that because of Alief’s large immigrant population, the district has embraced different languages and cultures to meet the needs of all the children and families they serve.

The tour of Alief ISD included visits to Petrosky Elementary School, a campus featuring a Mandarin immersion program; Crossroads High School, a cutting-edge Disciplinary Alternative Education Program campus with a focus on action-based learning and student engagement through corporate partnerships; and the Center for Advanced Careers, a leading-edge career and technical education campus.

After touring the Center’s facilities and meeting some of the students and teachers, we were treated with lunch prepared and hosted by the culinary arts students in their restaurant, the Alief Bistro. Superintendent H.D. Chambers and Board President Ann Williams spoke to us about the importance of leadership, community partnership, and teamwork. The day ended with research teamwork, class member presentations, and a team-building dinner.

On to Cy-Fair, Stafford Day two of the session found us on the bus traveling to Cypress Lakes High

School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. CyLakes also offers innovative programs for students with diverse backgrounds and educational needs. In addition to Career and Technical Education and dual-credit offerings, Cy-Lake, in partnership with Lone Star College, offers a dual-credit college academy. The College Academy provides a head start for high school students to earn an associate’s degree during their senior year.

Lunch was prepared and served by Cy-Lakes culinary arts students. After remarks from Superintendent Mark Henry and Cy-Fair ISD Board members John Ogletree and Bob Covey, we boarded a bus for our final district destination, Stafford Municipal School District.

Stafford MSD, the only municipal school district in Texas, falls on the county line between Harris and Fort Bend counties. Its district boundaries mirror the city limits of Stafford, and the city has a large role in its governance.

Prior to our tour of Stafford’s cam-

30 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
News & Events

puses, we enjoyed snacks prepared by the high school culinary arts students and a musical performance by the district’s choir. Superintendent Robert Bostic and Fort Bend County Judge KP George addressed the cohort. George, a former Fort Bend ISD trustee, spoke about the importance of school board members aspiring to higher elected office.

We closed day two with a presentation from featured speaker Kelly McDonald. McDonald, owner of Denver-based McDonald Marketing, Inc., is a recognized authority on implications of changing demographics. McDonald presented on leading people who are different from you, beyond obvious differences like race or gender.

On the final day of the session, we listened to two classmate presentations and finished the session with a candid presentation from our second featured speaker, State Board of Education member Matt Robinson. Robinson, a Leadership TASB alum, spoke on the State Board’s role in approving new charter schools.H

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 31 NEED QUICK ANSWERS TO LEGAL QUESTIONS? TASB Legal Services can help with Quick Guides. Our School Official’s Quick Guide series offers convenient flip-chart publications that cover the basics on: • Nepotism and Other Conflicts of Interest
The Texas Open Meetings Act
Grievances Visit store.tasb.org to order or to find out more. ONLY $10 FOR TASB MEMBERS!
Alief ISD Board member Rick Moreno, a 2015 graduate of Leadership TASB, is joined by faculty members of the district’s Petrosky Elementary School to discuss the campus’s unique Mandarin immersion program during the Leadership TASB class visit. Winford Adams, a Spring ISD trustee, is a member of the Leadership TASB Class of 2020. Photo by TASB Media Services

Reaching for Excellence

H-E-B Announces 2020 Education Awards Finalists

The H-E-B supermarket chain recently announced that eight school districts and five early childhood facilities have been selected as finalists for the retailer’s 19th annual Excellence in Education Awards program. For the sixth year in a row, H-E-B is also recognizing five public school boards to highlight the importance of strong leadership at the board level.

The 2020 school district, early childhood facility, and school board finalists are:

Large School District

• Sharyland ISD

• Mesquite ISD

• Northwest ISD

• Dallas ISD

• Galena Park ISD

Small School District

• Fabens ISD

• Boerne ISD

• George West ISD

Early Childhood Facility

• Marvelously Made–The School for Young Children, Helotes

• Brighton Center’s Kindergarten Readiness Preschool, San Antonio

• Hidalgo ISD

• Hampton Moreno Dugat Early Childhood Center, Beeville, Texas

• Lawson Early Childhood School, McKinney ISD

School Board

• Elgin ISD

• Mission CISD

• Community ISD

• Canyon ISD

• Greenville ISD

About the Awards

Since the program’s inception, H-E-B has awarded more than $11.5 million in funding to benefit outstanding Texas public schools. This year, H-E-B will

award a total of $82,500 to the finalists and school boards, who will go on to compete for greater cash prizes at the statewide level. Each finalist in the district and early childhood categories, as well as the five recognized school boards, will receive $5,000; the three finalists in the small district category will receive $2,500.

To determine statewide winners, a panel of judges visits each district, early childhood facility, and school board, tours campuses, and talks with administration, staff, parents, and community members.

Winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony May 3 at the La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio. The winning large district will receive $100,000; the winning small district $50,000. An early childhood facility will receive $25,000. If selected, one or more school

October 2–4

March 15–31

Vote on which sessions you want to attend.

An invitation to share feedback will be emailed to board members, superintendents, and administrators before these dates.

June 30

Presenters receive notification of session decisions and next steps.

Dallas

#tasatasb tasa.tasb.org

32 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

boards will receive up to a total of $25,000. Additionally, 40 teacher and principal finalists were announced in February and March during a series of surprise visits to schools and classrooms across Texas. Teacher and principal finalist honorees were not available at press time. For more information, visit heb.com/static-page/article-template/2020-eie-award-finalists.H

TASB’s Executive Search Services is currently accepting applications for the positions listed below:

• Carrizo Springs ISD. Superintendent. Application deadline: March 24.

• Ector County ISD. Executive Manager/CFO.

Deadlines to be determined.

• Moulton ISD. Superintendent. Application deadline: March 11.

• Rosebud-Lott ISD. Superintendent. Deadlines to be determined.

• Sealy ISD. Superintendent. Application deadline: March 11.

• Seguin ISD. Superintendent. Application deadline: March 31.

For more information about vacancies or services provided by TASB’s Executive Search Services, call 800.580.8272, e-mail executive.search@tasb.org, or visit ess.tasb.org

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 33
TASB Board Development Services offers a wide range of team-building options to help you: • Focus on student outcomes
Assess your performance and plan for improvement
Clarify roles and working relationships
Develop and monitor vision and goals
Improve community relations BOARD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: YOUR DISTRICT. WE DELIVER. Visit tasb.org/board-dev and navigate to Consulting for more information. board.dev@tasb.org • 800.580.8272 Strengthen and unify your board team! Board Development Services

‘LAUNCHING THE NEXT GENERATION’ Districts Statewide Celebrate School Board Recognition Month

School districts all across Texas honored their local boards during January, which was proclaimed School Board Recognition Month for 2020. The theme for this year’s special celebration was “Launching the Next Generation.”

A special video tribute to trustees produced by TASB noted: “In every single community in Texas, whether large or small, there is a group of people who take on the responsibility for seeing that the young people in town have good schools.… They are the more than 7,000 locally elected school board members in Texas. They serve tirelessly, often with little recognition and precious little thanks. They generously work behind the scenes taking care of their neighbors, especially the young ones.” To view the video, visit tasb.org/ services/communications-and-pr/recognition-programs/school-board-recognition-month.aspx

School districts celebrated their local school board members with festivities, student-written “thank you” notes, certificates of appreciation, videos, presentations, and special events. Communities joined in by thanking their local school board members and sharing appreciation using #SchoolBoardMonth on Twitter and Instagram.H

34 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org

Just a few of the special School Board Recognition Month events and recognitions across the state in January included the following: opposite page at bottom, Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) Superintendent James Colbert Jr. (standing) expresses his appreciation for HCDE trustees during a reception prior to the board’s January meeting; opposite page at top, the Denton ISD superintendent’s office created special “goodie boxes” for board members; immediate left at top, treats, gift bags, and a steak dinner were part of Rains ISD’s recognition of its trustees; immediate left at bottom, in East Central ISD, board members were presented with handmade, personalized plaques.

Photos courtesy of respective school districts

March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 35

Celebrate Your CEO

SOTY Nominations Due to Regional ESCs by April 10

Nominations for the 2020 Superintendent of the Year (SOTY) awards program are due to designated regional education service centers (ESCs) by April 10.

Since 1984, the SOTY awards program has honored outstanding administrators for achievement and excellence in public school administration. These school leaders exhibit exemplary and visionary leadership toward improving student performance. They are chosen for their strong leadership skills, dedication to improving the quality of education in their districts, and commitment to public support and involvement in education.

Eligibility and Nominations

A local school board that is currently an active member of TASB may nominate its superintendent. Nominees must meet the following requirements:

• Have served as a superintendent of the district since September 1, 2017

(interim positions do not count)

• Be a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA)

• Be certified and meet the State Board for Educator Certification continuing professional education requirement

• Be an active superintendent at the time of the 2020 TASA/TASB Convention

Superintendents who receive the top state award cannot be nominated again during the following five-year period. This rule does not apply to superintendents who were named regional winners or state finalists.

Selection Procedure

Regional Screening Committees. ESCs coordinate regional screening; school board members serving on

S H O H T H Y Superintendent of the Year H 2020

regional screening committees are from districts that do not have superintendents nominated for the award and do not have board members on the TASB State Selection Committee. Each regional screening committee will submit one nomination to the state committee.

State Selection Committee. The State Selection Committee is typically composed of TASB directors appointed by the TASB president to serve on the Association’s Member Services Committee. A director may not serve if the superintendent from his or her district is being considered.

Members’ Conference 2020

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Just as the Fund offers one-stop service, this event offers one-stop learning. Get inspired by former NFL football player Justin Forsett and choose from education sessions that cover risk management essentials, address emerging risks and trends, and build skills.
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36 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
The premier conference for risk management and education leaders in Texas.

Award and Sponsor. The Superintendent of the Year award winner’s district receives a $5,000 award, which will be presented at the 2020 TASA/TASB Convention in Dallas. The four state finalists’ districts receive $1,000 each. The award program is underwritten by Balfour and sponsored by TASB.

Schedule

• April 10: Nomination submissions due to designated ESCs

• June 26: Regional screening completed and nominations submitted to TASB

• August 28-29: Regional winners interviewed and five finalists chosen by the TASB State Selection Committee

• October: Finalists interviewed and SOTY award winner chosen by TASB State Selection Committee

• October 2: Presentation of the SOTY award at 2020 TASA/TASB Convention

For more information, call 800.580.8272 or e-mail soty@tasb.org.H

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 37 Create custom comparison reports using up-to-date compensation market data. DataCentral will help you: • Compare districts by size, region, or individual selection. • Access reliable and current benchmark data instantly online. • Review data on HR policies and practices. DataCentral Log in for the data you want. To join, visit hrservices.tasb.org or call 800.580.7782
TASB Preferred Provider Have lead, asbestos, or mold problems? Let us help improve your school environments by sampling, managing, and providing staff training on hazardous materials. Become an Environmental Member and save more! facilities.tasb.org

Recruiting Education Leaders to Chart the Future of Schools

Join TASB at NSBA Texas Breakfasts

Texas attendees at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, April 4-6 are invited to join TASB for complimentary breakfasts. The Texas breakfasts will be held Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5, 7–8:30 a.m., at the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

While the breakfasts are free, reservations are required to ensure enough seating and food. Deadline to RSVP is March 25. For information on reservations, contact TASB’s Taylor Thompson at 800.580.8272, extension 3611, or visit tasb.org/ texasbreakfast.

The breakfasts are sponsored by five of TASB’s affiliated entities: BuyBoard® Purchasing Cooperative, Lone Star Investment Pool, TASB Benefits Cooperative, TASB Energy Cooperative, and TASB Risk Management Fund.

For more information about the NSBA Annual Conference, visit nsba.org/conference.H

ESS

My experience with TASB Executive Search Services (ESS) was first class from start to finish...I think the number and quality of candidates could not have been surpassed. The online process makes reviewing applications a breeze. I know if or when I need to do another superintendent search my first call will be to ESS.

Visionary Leadership at Every Step

Executive Search Services is committed to helping school districts find the best superintendent candidates. Our process has been refined with the benefit of three decades’ experience, and we will customize the search to meet the needs of your school board and district.

To learn more, visit ess.tasb.org or call 800.580.8272, ext. 3690.

Top (from page 7)

announced in September. Schools that receive the national distinction will be recognized at the Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC, later in the year.

Initiated by the USDE in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that have high student achievement or have achieved exemplary progress in closing achievement gaps among student subpopulations. Since the program’s founding, 7,000 schools across the nation have received this prestigious designation.

In Texas, public schools are considered for nomination based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year’s STAAR assessments. Each nominated school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25 percent or more.

For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, visit www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/ index.html. Congratulations to all Texas nominees!H

38 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
Roger White is managing editor of Texas Lone Star.

Seven Texas Campuses Named ‘State Schools of Character’

Seven Texas schools have been designated as State Schools of Character for 2020, according to Character.org, a national advocate for character education in schools and workplaces.

Clear Creek ISD’s Clear Brook High School, Fort Bend ISD’s Fort Settlement Middle School, Houston’s Harmony School of Innovation, Granbury ISD’s Mambrino STEAM Academy, The School of Science and Technology-Alamo, Alamo Heights ISD’s Woodridge Elementary School, and Klein ISD’s Zwink Elementary School were among 81 schools across the country awarded the national distinction.

“These schools’ representatives, including educators, parents, and students, are working together to create stronger communities that exemplify the character strengths of honesty, caring, and responsibility,” said Arthur Schwartz,

Character.org chair and interim CEO. “We are honored to be validating their efforts and sharing their inspiring work with schools and school districts throughout the United States.”

Each year, the organization certifies schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. Schools and districts announced as state honorees will be considered for the designation of National School of Character, announced in May.

Schools and districts are certified based on the nonprofit’s 11 Principles of Character, which include fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities.

The organization’s principles describe character education as “the intentional

effort to develop in young people core ethical and performance values that are widely affirmed across all cultures. To be effective, character education must include all stakeholders in a school community and must permeate school climate, culture, teaching, and learning.

“The term ‘character education’ encompasses a broad range of prosocial constructs, strategies, and programs, including positive school culture, moral education, just communities, caring school communities, social-emotional learning, positive youth development, civic education, and service learning. All of these approaches promote the intellectual, social, emotional, and ethical development of young people and share a commitment to help young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens.”

(See Character, page 40.)

texaslonestaronline.org | March 2020 | Texas Lone Star 39 2019–20
Recognition
Thank local businesses and organizations for supporting Texas public schools. Submit names using the online form. Receive an individual presentation packet for each honoree . tasb.org/standingup • 800.580.8272 “The greatness of a community is
by the compassionate actions of its members.”
Business
Program
most accurately measured
—Coretta Scott King

Bulletin Board

PSJA ISD Unveils Ag Science Facility

Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) ISD and the City of Pharr hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new PSJA Agricultural Science Facility in Pharr February 4. The $3.5-million facility, the result of a city-school partnership between the district and community, was created to enhance current academic programs to provide richer learning experiences. The 38,000-square-foot facility features an 8,000-squarefoot arena, 54 galvanized metal pens for large cattle, and 81 for small animals.

“These experiences teach you leadership and how to work as a team. It’s an honor and a privilege for our district to partner with the City of Pharr to make this possible. This facility will provide our students life-changing experiences outside the classroom,” said PSJA ISD Superintendent Jorge L. Arredondo.

Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez noted that city leaders take pride in supporting efforts to promote educational endeavors for students. “This is something that we really need in our community,” said Hernandez. “The City of Pharr has always been in great support of PSJA ISD. When you add up our joint projects over the years, they total more than $60 million in investments for our families.”

During the ceremony, attendees heard from district and school leaders and toured the facility. To close the event, PSJA CTE Coordinator Romeo Robles shared the history of the district’s FFA program and the impact the new facility will have on students. The PSJA Agricultural Science Facility will serve as the hub for FFA students in the district’s comprehensive high schools, according to Robles.

TEA Releases Annual Report

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced January 29 the release of its 2019 Annual Report. The report promotes the progress and advancements taking place in public schools and districts across Texas. It also serves as a helpful resource for illustrating areas where the state must continue to invest resources to ensure every student is prepared for success in college, a career, or the military.

The 2019 report focuses on areas of achievement based on the agency’s Strategic Priorities:

• Recruit, support, and retain teachers and principals

• Build a foundation of reading and math

• Connect high school to career and college

• Improve low-performing schools

A key highlight of TEA’s latest report pertains to the significant impact of the passage of House Bill 3 during the 86th legislative session. Since House Bill 3’s passage, Texas has seen an immediate increase in public school funding of $3.4 billion per year.

To view a full copy of the report, visit the TEA website (tea.texas.gov/).

Katy ISD Dedicates Adams Junior High

The Katy ISD Board dedicated Adams Junior High School February 4 in honor of Joe Adams, a former Katy ISD trustee and member of the TASB Board of Directors. The school, which opened its doors in fall 2019, is the district’s 16th junior high campus.

Adams, a Katy ISD trustee for 27 years, served eight terms and held every board position, including four terms as president. He worked with three superintendents and alongside more than 30 board members. During his tenure, Katy ISD grew from 20,000 to 70,000 students and added 39 new schools and numerous renovations and additions.

“I am happy, proud, and overwhelmed to be selected for this honor,” Adams said. “A lot has changed since I first ran for office, but there are many things that have not changed. We are still a sought-after destination by families, fast-growing, and a high-performing district. This happens when district leadership anticipates, plans, and prepares for growth, passionate educators pass on knowledge and skills to students, and parents recognize that creating a legacy means that the difference we make in the life of another is the only thing that endures.”

If

Character (from page 39)

“I have always described Clear Brook as an inclusive school with a servant heart,” Michele Staley, principal of Clear Creek ISD’s Clear Brook High School, said. “Our feeder schools have done an amazing job building character with our students, so it was important to continue that education with our Wolverines.”

To learn more about the schools chosen as State Schools of Character or Character.org’s mission and history, visit Character.org.H

40 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org
you have a short news item you would like to submit to Bulletin Board, roger.white@tasb.org.e-mail
ARCHITECTURE \\ ENGINEERING \\ INTERIORS \\ PLANNING \\ TECHNOLOGY \\ FACILITY CONSULTING
ALL KIDS DESERVE THE BEST SCHOOLS

Thumbs Up for Schools

Two Recent Polls Show Support for Public Education

Q:Do you have any new statistics or reports about people’s attitudes toward public schools?

A: Yes, and it’s good news!

Two recently released surveys show that respondents not only support their public schools and highly value classroom teachers but also want more funding for public education and are opposed to siphoning money away from public schools to fund private or for-profit institutions.

B to schools nationally, but that number increases to 39 percent when asked about schools statewide. And the number jumps up to 48 percent of Texans giving an A or B to schools in their communities, with 68 percent giving an A or B to the public school their oldest child attends. PDK national responses reflect a similar pattern.

An interesting demographic note: among other differences, 58 percent of rural residents and 52 percent of suburbanites give their community’s schools an A or B, compared with 43 percent of city dwellers.

When addressing specific concerns about public schools, Texans express

just released survey findings indicating strong support for public schools, including results that show that 64 percent of respondents think public school funding should be increased and 73 percent indicate that funds should not be taken away from public schools to fund private and for-profit organizations.

Additionally, voters across the board are committed to and favorable toward local public schools and teachers in their community, and a majority (58 percent) had favorable attitudes toward their school boards, according to the NSBAC poll.

Raise Your Hand Texas Poll

A new statewide poll, commissioned by the nonprofit Raise Your Hand Texas group, found that Texans greatly value public school teachers and rate their local public schools highly. This first-of-its-kind poll, modeled after the national PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward Public Schools, revealed that 77 percent of Texans express trust and confidence in their teachers, significantly higher than the 61 percent of Americans polled about the same issue. At the same time, respondents see teachers as undervalued in society, citing test pressures, low pay, and discipline as major challenges for teachers.

Regarding public schools as a whole, the more closely connected respondents are to a school, the higher they rate it. Twenty-six percent of Texans give an A or

skepticism about standardized testing. And two-thirds of respondents say the state is providing too little funding to its public schools.

Along those lines, approximately 62 percent say they prefer a candidate who supports higher funding for public schools over one who wants to hold it steady or reduce it.

And, somewhat surprisingly, 62 percent say they would support raising taxes to improve public schools in their community.

To view the poll, visit www.raiseyourhandtexas.org/ 2020poll/#about

NSBAC 2020 Poll

On the national level, the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC)

Regarding concerns about the education students are receiving, a solid majority of NSBAC poll respondents think it is important that students have easier access to technology, both in school and out—68 percent say this is “important,” including 39 percent who say it is “extremely important.” Across all demographic subgroups, voters think easier access to technology both in school and out is crucial by wide margins, the poll indicated.

Similarly, parent respondents say students having easier access to technology that is considered necessary for real-world learning is vitally important, especially parents of children 5 to 12 years old and parents of children in grades K-5.

You can find more NSBAC 2020 Poll results in Dax Gonzalez’s story in this edition on page 22. To read the full report or find out more about NSBAC, visit https:// nsbac.org/2020-poll/ H

42 Texas Lone Star | March 2020 | texaslonestaronline.org Q & A
Regarding public schools as a whole, the more closely connected respondents are to a school, the higher they rate it.
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