March 1, 2013

Trinity Basin Preparatory school leaders met Margaret Spellings, former US Secretary of Education at a Texas Tribune event in Houston.  

NAPCS logo NAPCS President Nina Rees Issues Statement on Sequester 

March 1, 2013; National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
"I am disappointed that our leaders in Congress and the Administration were not able to reach an agreement under their self-imposed deadline to avert the sequester," said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the NAPCS. "There is no doubt that these drastic cuts will greatly harm our public education system, for public charter schools and traditional public schools alike. Read Press Release. 
Sequestration At-a-Glance
The sequester (across-the-board spending cuts) is scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, Saturday, March 2. As authorized in the Budget Control Act of 2011, it requires $85.3 billion in cuts, evenly split between defense and discretionary programs. At this time, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that education programs will be cut by 5.1 percent. Since most federal education programs are forward-funded, the U.S. Department of Education does not expect these cuts to impact THIS school year (2012-2013). Any cuts would go into effect in July 2013, impacting the 2013-2014 school year. The one exception is the Impact Aid program, which compensates school districts that are located on land owned by the federal government. This program will face immediate cuts.

Will the Sequester Impact the CSP, Title I, Title III and IDEA funding?
Yes. Nearly all formula, new awards and continuation grants will be impacted.

Washington Post 
Impact of March 1st cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Texas

 star telegram
Arlington mayor warns of dire consequences from budget cuts
By Susan Schrock; February 28, 2013  
The Texas Education Agency's estimated reduction of $517.6 million is the most significant agency cut but officials with the Arlington Independent School District didn't know Thursday specifically what that could mean locally. Read Article. 

Gov. Perry Keynotes Texas Business Leadership Council Education Summit

Governor Perry on testing and accountability 
Governor Perry: "...These steps all will enhance the abilities of parents to evaluate the best schools for their children, part of an overall effort to expand opportunities for every child.  Different children learn with different goals in mind, and leashing them to a "one size fits all" system does both them, and their communities, a disservice. That's why I support expanding the number of public charter schools, which offer parents a tuition-free alternative to their neighborhood school. These innovative public schools already serve more than 150,000 students across Texas, with more than 100,000 more on waiting lists..." Read More.

Perry Backs Changes to Student Testing Requirements
By: Morgan Smith; February 20, 2013
"I support recent efforts to evaluate our testing methods, to help determine the best mix of STAAR testing for students." The remarks are the first time the governor has publicly declared his position on the state's student testing system, though he has previously called for the repeal of a rule tying high school students' performance on state exams to their final grades. Read More. 
TX Tribune Yellow
Senate Panel Approves More Money for Public Schools
By Morgan Smith; February 28,2013
All items discussed Thursday passed without controversy except a rider from Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Senators agreed to consider at a later date Patrick's request for $2 million for a board that would approve and oversee the state's charter schools. Read Article.

Charter schools prompt fierce political battle

By Patricia Hart; February 24, 2013
Galveston charter school operator Jennifer Goodman tried for years to convince the Galveston Independent School District board to lease various unused school campuses to her. "Why would we lease to our competition?" Goodman recalls being told. Read the article.

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Educators Push Back on Charter School Expansion
By Kate Alexander; February 21, 2013

At the onset of the hearing, Patrick said he expected opposition from school district officials, but warned that his primary concern was for students and parents who want an alternative to traditional public schools. "I want you to understand that when you testify, you're not testifying against a bill," Patrick said. "You're testifying against 100,000 families who are are on the wait list who are desperate for their children to have choice." Read the article.  


State senator: Students 'crying' for more choice 

San Antonio Express-News  

By Will Weissert; February 21, 2013
The head of the Senate Education Committee made a dramatic appeal Thursday to expand charter schools in Texas, arguing that those who oppose them are condemning students and parents to waitlists long enough to make them cry.  

Read the article. 

SAVE THE DATE: May 8, 2013

Rally for Public Charter Schools

Texas State Capitol, Austin
The policies that impact charter schools will be deliberated on during this legislative session. Hearing directly from charter school leaders, parents and teachers is one of the best ways for state legislators to understand how vital charter schools are to providing a great public education for Texas students. Join us as we stand together in support of Texas public charter schools! To confirm your participation, contact Jennifer Limas-Mota, TCSA Director of Grassroots Advocacy.

Thinking of Starting a New Charter School? Beginner Session, Austin (FREE)
Thursday, March 7, 2013; 9am - 5pm
Ideal for persons seeking general information about the Texas Charter School movement and for persons preparing a Generation 19 application to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE). If a Generation 19 application cycle is approved by the SBOE, then the deadline for applications likely will be late February 2014.  REGISTER

Business Week
Business Week, Dallas (FREE)
May 22-24, 2013
This intensive three day charter finance workshop is developed and delivered by seasoned charter finance leaders. This year's version of Business Week is designed to accelerate the learning of novice charter business officers and employees with a mix of foundational charter finance
knowledge and interactive real world guided examples. REGISTER 

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spring pigs TCSA 3rd Annual Spring Charter School Statewide Finance Bootcamp, Austin
($325 Member; $425 Non-Member) 
What will Charter School Finance look like after 2013?
April 10-12, 2013
Commissioner Hours Credit: Totaling 14 possible hours
Join us in Austin, TX for three days of insights and breaking updates around the most critical developments in finance matters impacting charter schools. REGISTER

TCSA Statewide Charter School Legal Summit, Dallas
($250 Member; $350 Non-Member)
May 20-21, 2013
Commissioner Hours Credit: Totaling 9 possible hours
This 2 day training hits on the hot topics that have a huge impact on your charter schools operational compliance. REGISTER 
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TCSA FREE Webinar: Quality Framework Self-Assessment and Reports Overview March 6, 2013
Now is the perfect time to plan for the next school year! In this free TCSA & theNetwork webinar, you will learn how to view your charter's Quality Framework reports from the last submission--even if you last submitted an Excel or paper copy, how to start a new Self-Assessment, where to find each type of report in the Quality Framework portal, and how to use the data, charts, and graphs for charter and campus planning now. Register.   
Who should participate?  
Charter leaders and staff members who lead, implement, or participate in charter or campus comprehensive needs assessments and use data for reporting or planning purposes should register and participate. Past participants include superintendents, principals, compliance officers, and grant officers.
Questions? Or would you like to hear more about a particular topic on the Quality Framework? Tell us! Email.  
upcoming events
FREE College and Career Fest
11th & 12th Grades
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
2pm - 8pm 
Austin Convention Center
With the help of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Independent School District and other area school districts, the event will bring together and empower area students and their families with practical information regarding their options beyond high school. 
Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program (Texas Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE))
The purpose of the Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program is to provide opportunities beyond the regular school day for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers. Notice of Intent due on March 12, 2013.
Read more and apply

The Google Science Fair 
 is an online science competition open to students ages 13-18 from around the globe. We're looking for ideas that will change the world. Enter Here. 

  Doodle 4 Google Art Contest
An annual program that invites K-12 students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign our homepage logo for millions to see. This year, it's asked for students to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "My Best Day Ever..." One talented student artist will see their artwork appear on the Google homepage, receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and a $50,000 technology grant for their school along with some other cool prizes!
Entries due March 22, 2013 Enter Here. 
charter news

What the court ruling means for charter schools 
By Matthew Sherman, OPED; February 20,2013
Unfortunately, while Judge Dietz ruled favorably for general public education funding, which all supporters of education can applaud, he declined to rule in favor of facilities funding for charter schools. Judge Dietz's ruling states, "The Court declares it is within the Legislature's discretion to fund charters differently than traditional public school districts. Any disparities do not rise to the level of rendering the entire system unconstitutional." Read Article.

TEA Press Release
Senate confirms Cargill as SBOE chair 
Feb. 21, 2013
The Texas Senate Wednesday unanimously confirmed Barbara Cargill as chair of the State Board of Education. Read Press Release.

my SA Former education commissioners: Kids take too many tests
San Antonio Express-News 
By Ericka Mellon; February 25, 2013  
The commissioners, appointed by either Gov. Rick Perry or his predecessor, George W. Bush, suggested that Texas - a pioneer of the testing movement - has gone too far in requiring most high school students to pass 15 end-of-course exams to graduate. Read the Article. 

In Other Charter News:
Putting Charter School Conspiracy Theories to Rest: America Enterprise Institute  
job post of the week
Uplift Education, Dallas
Teacher Selection Day 2013 (Career Fair)
Saturday, March 2, 2013; 9:00a.m.

TEA logo


UPDATE: TEA Special Education Policy Deadline Extended  The new deadline is March 15, 2013.For access to the special education model policies and instructions for adapting, adopting and uploading the policies, contact your local regional education service center.  

For more information contact TCSA Director of Legal Policy Services, Lindsey Jones at ph. 512.584.8272.  


2012-2013 Financial Solvency Survey   

Now available

The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m., Friday, March 1, 2013.  


The 2012 Student Assessment Data Validation Manual  

Now available.  

The 2012 Student Assessment Data Validation district reports are scheduled to be posted to the secure TEASE Accountability application on Friday, February 22, 2013.
Technical Assistance:  
Performance-Based Monitoring (PBM) contacts are available at each education service center (ESC) to provide technical assistance to school districts. Latest updates to the ESC PBM contacts can be found here, using the Search RESCs function.  
For questions about interventions, including ISAM inquiries, please contact: Program Monitoring and Interventions by calling 512.463.5226 or via email.
For questions about the manual or the indicators described in the manual, please contact: Performance-Based Monitoring by calling 512.936.6426 or via email. 

Change to Automobile Mileage Reimbursement Rate 

Applicable to State and Federal Grants from the Texas Education Agency
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has changed the automobile mileage reimbursement rate. On January 1, 2013, the rate increased from 55.5 to 56.5 cents per mile. Travel and lodging reimbursement rates have not changed. The standard rates, effective until August 31, 2013, are up to $77 per night for lodging and up to $46 per day for meals, unless a higher rate for the travel destination is specified. Read more.