The Mentor Program Allotment (MPA) is a new, optional teacher mentorship program for districts. If districts choose to follow the best practices laid out in TEC §21.458, they may qualify for MPA funding. The MPA funding formula would provide selected districts with $1,800 per mentee, which can be used on: mentor stipends, scheduled release time, and mentor training. State funding is intended to reduce each district’s cost for building and sustaining their own best practices in new teacher mentorship.
Interested districts will need to apply for MPA funds when applications are available in spring 2020 for the 2020-2021 school year.
In the application, districts will:
Priority points will be based on district size, rural status, and percentage of the district’s student population that qualifies as economically disadvantaged. The point system will be communicated at a later date by the Texas Education Agency.
Districts interested in applying for the Mentor Program Allotment should refer to the timeline below:
Districts that are selected to participate in the MPA will submit an end-of-year compliance report and certify that they have spent their MPA funds on mentor stipends, release time, or mentor training.
If you have questions pertaining to the Mentor Program Allotment under HB 3, please email HB3info@tea.texas.gov or Michelle Aguilar from the Texas Charter Schools Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Texas Legislature has authorized $100 million for the 2019–2021 School Safety and Security Grant to help public school districts (including public charters) meet the new safety and security requirements under Senate Bill 11 (SB 11). SB 11 requires school districts to provide costly and time-consuming training to their employees, in addition to facilities upgrades such as security cameras, cell phone signal boosters or installation of land lines in classrooms, and doors that lock from the outside. The Texas Legislature is providing these grants to supplement the safety allotment schools are already receiving ($9/pupil), which for many districts is insufficient to cover upfront costs for necessary security upgrades.
TCSA encourages all charters to apply for this grant funding. To apply for a grant, visit the following Texas Education Agency (TEA) website: https://tea4avoswald.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx and search for “2019–2021 School Safety and Security Grant” from the drop-down menu “Application Name.” The grant application is due on January 22, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. School districts should use their existing safety and security allotment funding to cover unallowable costs in the 2019–2021 School Safety and Security Grant. These unallowable costs include the following:
For more information on this grant, contact TEA via email email@example.com. For more information on training and facilities requirements under Senate Bill 11, contact TCSA’s Director of Policy and Research, Dr. Timothy Mattison, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (512) 584-8272 ext. 309.
The Texas Charter Schools Association is holding elections for charter school operator representation on its Board of Directors in January 2020. As you may know, the TCSA Board of Directors voted in October to change its governance structure to reflect the changing needs of the sector and to create a board that is effective and nimble. Below is the new governance structure:
For the upcoming elections, there are two (2) seats open for small school representatives and two (2) seats open for large school representatives. Schools with student enrollment below 1,499 will vote for candidates representing small schools; schools with student enrollment of 1,500+ students will vote for candidates representing large schools (according to 2020 membership numbers). One vote per school.
If you are interested in supporting the mission of TCSA and advancing the policy climate for the public charter community in Texas, I encourage you to read the updated TCSA Board of Directors Roles & Responsibilities. If you have yet to renew your membership with TCSA, you have to renew by December 10, 2019 in order to be eligible to run.
To confirm your candidacy for large or small school races, please send the following to Janie Munoz (email@example.com) by December 13, 2019.
Elections will be held online only from January 6, 2020 – January 20, 2020. Winners will be announced on January 20, 2020, unless there is a runoff. If you have questions about this process, please contact Janie Munoz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for your commitment to great public schools for Texas students.
Chief Executive Officer
Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) is collecting data regarding your district’s use of restorative discipline practices. Since we truly value your time, this survey should only take 3 minutes to complete. We would greatly appreciate if you’d provide us your responses by Wednesday, November 27th.
Restorative discipline is defined as “a whole-school, relational approach to building school climate and addressing student behavior that fosters belonging over exclusion, social engagement over control, and meaningful accountability over punishment.” Attached you will find a key with definitions and examples for any unfamiliar terms.
Please respond to the survey questions as accurately as possible, as this data will help us to promote charter schools in the 87th Texas Legislative session. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
We truly appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey. Thank you again for all that you do.
If you have any questions regarding the survey or this project, please reach out to Michelle Aguilar, Research and Policy Fellow, at email@example.com.
Thanks to everyone who attended our 2019 TCSA Conference! We had a record crowd of over 1700 attendees and an extremely high level of engagement from our attendees, whether it was in attendance at breakout sessions, prowling the exhibit hall, or enjoying the 80’s prom with the Spazmatics!
While it’s fresh on your mind, if you attended the conference, would you mind taking a few minutes to complete our conference survey? We want to make next year’s conference even better, so your feedback is extremely important. Speaking of next year – we’ll be back again at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort for TCSA Conference 2020 from September 30th – October 2nd, so save the date!
The 2019 conference app has been updated with additional presenter slides. Even though the conference is over (and even if you didn’t attend the conference), you can access the presenter slides and the information they contain. If you haven’t loaded the app or if you accidentally deleted it, you can find the download here.
Several new training webinars are available on our on-demand learning zone. One new addition is Reporting Requirements for Educator Misconduct which details your responsibilities as a school leader when instances of potential educator misconduct arise. Presented by TCSA Attorney Elizabeth Cross, this course discusses responsibilities for educators under TAC Chapter 153 and 249, and well as TEC Chapter 22 and HB 3. In addition, an updated presentation on Proposed Changes to the Charter School Performance Framework will be presented as a webinar on November 7 and available in our on-demand portal on November 12th.
Did you know that all of our on-demand course content is available free to TCSA member schools? Whether you are a CEO/Superintendent, Principal, Board Member or CFO, you can find courses in our Training Zone that will help you meet your Commissioner’s Credit training requirements. Let me know how I can help you access the training content you need.
The Texas Charter Schools Association is proud to announce 25 fellows have been accepted to the 2019-2020 Teacher Advocacy Leadership Institute (TALI). This highly selective fellowship is in its second year and has doubled the number of fellows to meet growing demand.
The purpose of the fellowship is to help educators gain a more thorough understanding of charter school laws and to teach them how to advocate for policies that advance the charter school movement in Texas.
Fellows will receive extensive advocacy and communication training and will learn how to engage legislators, testify before legislative committees, respond to action alerts, write op-eds, and engage fellow teachers on issues that concern charter schools, students, and teachers.
The names of 2019-2020 TALI Fellows are:
We are excited to welcome this new class to TALI and thank them for their commitment to advocate for our charter schools and our students!
For more information about the program, please contact Shree Medlock, Vice President of Strategic Engagement for the Texas Charter Schools Association.
Several significant changes to the rules surrounding growth and expansion as well as charter school application and waitlist requirements have come about as the result of legislation passed in the recent 86th legislative session. TCSA has been working with TEA charter division staff to provide schools with the most up to date information to be presented in two important conference breakout sessions.
On Tuesday, October 29th TEA charter division staff will present SB 668 - New Growth and Expansion Rules for Charter Schools (2:00 p.m. Grand RS). SB 668 alters the existing charter school expansion rules and allows charter holders to provide written notice of a new open-enrollment charter school up to 18 months before the date on which the campus is anticipated to open. This session will provide an overview of these new requirements and what charters should plan to do going forward if they are considering expansion. In addition, the TEA charter division staff will discuss the upcoming CSP grant available to schools looking to expand.
Immediately following at 3:15 in the same breakout room, TEA staff will present HB 2293 - The New Statewide Common Application and Waitlist Reporting Requirements for Charters. Significant changes are ahead in the way that charter schools enroll students. HB 2293 mandates that when charter schools recruit students, they will be required to direct their families to fill out the common charter school application posted on TEA’s website. In addition, charters will begin the process of submitting waitlist data to TEA. This session will provide a comprehensive overview of these major changes in the ways charters enroll students.
Time will be provided in both sessions for participants to ask questions. Come early – we expect these sessions to be full. With that, we are making arrangements to videotape these sessions for inclusion in our training portal.
Speaking of our training portal, did you know that all of our on-demand courses are now available free to TCSA member schools? Now schools can have the convenience of high-quality, 24/7 on-demand training at no cost. Do you need help in registering board members or staff or don’t know what courses to register for? Look for “Special Offer” icons next to many of the courses. These will connect you to a course bundle that will allow you to register your board members and administrative staff for required courses with just a few clicks. If you have any questions or are interested in live training to meet Commissioner Credit hour requirements, please reach out to Dr. Bruce Marchand, TCSA VP of Member Services.
The Texas Education Agency recently announced the opening of two competitive grant opportunities for recruiting and preparing future teachers and principals. These two grants would allow certain open-enrollment charter schools to receive funding to make available specific teacher/ school leader support and pipeline programs. Recruiting, supporting, and retaining teachers and school leaders will allow for selected schools to provide the highest quality education to their students.
The 2020-2021 Principal Residency Grant Program will offer an opportunity for schools to build strong campus leaders and support pipelines through year-long, full-time principal residencies. Local education agencies who are selected to receive this grant will:
1. Identify potential principal candidates among current staff through a targeted recruitment and selection process.
2. Work in partnership with an effective educator preparation program (EPP) with concentrations in campus and instructional leadership.
3. Create, design, and implement a year-long, full-time residency in partnership with EPP that is focused on authentic, campus-based leadership experiences.
Qualifications and Basic Requirements for the Principal Residency Grant Program:
All local education agencies (LEAs) with at least one campus labeled “Targeted, Additional Targeted, or Comprehensive” per the 2019-2020 Title I Status and/or with at least one campus that received an “F” rating overall per the 2019 Accountability Ratings. Recorded webinar on the Principal Residency Grant Program will be available on September 30, 2019, via the Texas Education Agency website. Applications for the Principal Residency Grant Program are due November 12, 2019, by end of the business day.
The 2020-2022 Grow Your Own Grant Program is designed to enable increased entry of qualified, diverse candidates into the teaching profession, especially in rural and small school settings. The program seeks to elevate public perception of the teaching profession through the development and facilitation of high-quality Education and Training courses at the high school level. The primary goal here is to address the challenges Texas faces in regards to recruiting and retaining teacher candidates. Applicants may select one or more pathways to achieve this goal. The pathways include:
1. Recruitment of future educators through Education and Training courses offered to high school students.
2. Recruitment and support of paraprofessionals, instructional aides, and long-term substitutes currently employed by the local education agency to transition into full-time teaching roles within the school.
3. Developing well-qualified teacher candidates through a year-long clinical teaching assignment or an intensive pre-service teacher program.
Qualifications and Requirements:
All local education agencies (LEAs) and educator preparation programs (EPPs). Recorded webinar on the Grow Your Own Grant Program will be available on September 30, 2019 via the Texas Education Agency website. Applications for the Grow Your Own Grant Program are due November 15, 2019 by end of business day.
For blog source information and inquiries regarding TEA Competitive Grants, we encourage you to visit the TEA Grant Opportunities Page. Further questions surrounding the 2020-2021 Principal Residency Grants should be emailed to Heather Salaz (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 7, 2019. Questions concerning the 2020-2022 Grow Your Own Grant Program should be emailed to Sheel Jagani (GYOgrant@tea.texas.gov) by October 11, 2019.
Thinking about adding capacity or simply providing more space to your current students? Maybe you’ve been in those portables a bit longer than you anticipated? Perhaps it’s time to move out of the old strip mall and into something newer and more modern? Is your landlord giving you the raw deal?
If any of these questions have crossed your mind, attend our Inaugural Texas Facilities Summit! Hosted in Austin in just a few short weeks, this convening will leverage experts from the various aspects related to facilities and financing to help our schools learn more about this constantly evolving space. Schools that acquired facilities ten or fifteen years ago now have many more options for competitive products while newly authorized charters are gaining more attention. While the charter market is slowing down significantly in other parts of the country, we still see a more positive charter environment here in the Lone Star State.
See you in four weeks!
The Texas Charter Schools Association, in conjunction with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Tennessee Charter School Center, is excited to announce the launch of the Charter School Facilities Summit. Taking place in Austin on June 4th, 2019, this convening shall provide objective information on the various aspects of growth and expansion, including, but not limited to:
This convening is designed for Superintendents, CFOs, Board Members, and District Staff involved in growth and expansion. Whether you are a single-site organization or a large CMO, the charter school landscape is constantly evolving and growth is becoming both easier and more difficult at the same time. Come learn from industry experts in this daylong training for a low registration fee of $25.00. Registration is only open to schools and capped at 60 individuals.
To register, visit the Learning Zone. For questions, please contact Elliott Nguyen at Enguyen@txcharterschools.org. Please note that this convening is taking place one day before TEA’s Annual Summer Summit in Austin.