March 28, 2014

Over 100 attended the event initiating the renovation of the Bishop Joseph Gomez Administration on Paul Quinn Campus, home to Rapoport Academy's middle and high school. Mrs. Eula Gomez-Williams (daughter of Bishop Joseph Gomez) and her son Marvin Williams were thrilled to be there to see her father's legacy come to life! Special guests were State Rep. Doc Anderson, Malcolm Duncan (Waco Mayor), Dale Fisseler (Waco City Manager), Megan Henderson (Executive Director, Downtown Development Corp.), City Council members, Paul Quinn Alumni, representatives of the Central Texas African American Heritage Foundation, Community Race Relations Coalition and the African American Chamber of Commerce. 
PSF is here! First Steps Toward Facilities Help for Texas Public Charter Schools
On March 24, 2014, the Texas Education Agency began accepting applications for the Bond Guarantee Program for charter schools through the Municipal Advisory Council's (MAC) website. A link to sign up for the online PSF Application is located on MAC's home page. If you already have a MAC account, you will choose to create an application for a charter school when given that option. If not, you will need to enable your existing account or create a new account to submit an application.

SBOE Rules for the Texas Permanent School Fund Bond Guarantee Program for Charter Schools

"This is the first tangible facilities legislation that the Legislature has passed for public charter students... to extend the permanent school fund (PSF) bond guarantee to qualified public charter schools." -- Denise Pierce, TCSA General Counsel 

The Texas Charter Schools Association Charter School Business Officer Certification (CSBOC) program takes the diverse, complex and ever changing responsibilities of a Charter Business Officer and creates an environment where you learn the responsibilities, competencies and strategic vision to ensure your charter school is viable, stable, fiscally sound and has a foundation of continuous improvement and growth. The certification program is a combination of online courses, live training days, and documentation workshop days. All training classes are open to everyone and fulfill required credit hours. Trainings also count toward the program if you choose to pursue certification.   

Don't Miss Out on the 2013-2014 TCSA Training Series in the Rio Grande Valley, (Edinburg); April 28-30
Ignite Public Schools
4701 S. Sugar Road, Se. D

Edinburg, Texas  78539

For your convenience, discounted rates at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Pharr have been arranged for training attendees. RESERVE A ROOM.

Successful Leadership of Instructional Programs for Charter Schools, April 28, 2014; RGV 
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (3) School Law, (3) Accountability to the Public)
$125 TCSA 2014 Member; $195 Non-member

Confirmed Faculty: Veronica Garcia, Maxine Longoria-Nash, and Eric Rodriguez (Walsh Anderson); TCSA Staff and Tenured Charter Operators

register now 
This session will equip charter school leaders and board members to design and implement curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning in direct alignment with a school's charter contract. The proper leadership culture at your charter school over instructional programs will promote the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a charter school district culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.


Training Sponsored by: 

Employment Law and Payroll Requirements for Charter Schools, April 29, 2014; RGV
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (2) School Law, (2) School Finance, (2) Accountability for Public Funds)
$125 TCSA 2014 Member; $195 Non-member
Confirmed Faculty:
Joe Hoffer and Rick Lopez (Schulman Lopez Hoffer); Mark Chi and Jennifer Clark (TRS, Benefit Counseling Department) 


register now    
This session will equip charter school business and finance staff to proactively review the soundness of their current employee policies and procedures, including their payroll practices, to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements for charter schools. We will cover hot topic areas that have previously been a source for litigation and audit findings for charter schools and develop solutions to reduce the risk of those events in your school.

TRS representatives will discuss various reporting topics including:
  • Membership Eligibility Rules - who should and should not be reported to TRS
  • Compensation - what is creditable and non-creditable
  • Employment After Retirement - employment rules for retirees
  • Surcharges due from Employers - when the employer is required to pay surcharges for work done by a retiree
  • Reporting Requirements and Employer Contributions - Regular Payroll report, New Member report, Federal Funds reports.
Training Series Sponsored by: 

Instructional Coaching and Leadership to Improve Student Achievement, April 30, 2014; RGV 
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (3) School Law, (3) Accountability to the Public)
$225 TCSA 2014 Member; $375 Non-member 
Confirmed Faculty:
Kyle Seipp, Institute for Public School Initiatives, University of Texas at Austin 
This session will equip charter school officers, administrators, and teachers to implement principles of instructional coaching to facilitate and guide a school-based professional learning program for groups of teachers in specific content areas. These groups focus on the intersection of school and student needs and district reform initiatives with the goal of building a professional learning community that supports collective leadership, continuous improvement of teaching practice, and, ultimately, improved student learning.
register now
Attention vendor members! Sponsorship still available! Interested in connecting directly with charter school Superintendents, Chief Academic Officers, Principals, and Teachers?
Contact:  Erin Tholen at ph. 512.584.8272 ext.316 

Dallas: Starting a Charter School Beginner Workshop
April 9, 2014; 9am-5pm
A+ Charter Schools Conference Room
This one-day training session is designed for all persons thinking about applying for a charter school through the Commissioner of Education and the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).This eight-hour training session aims to empower future charter leaders with knowledge for the development of a competitive charter application and an effective charter school. REGISTER
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TCSA Member Schools Saved 17% on Fourth Quarter Purchases 
Staples Advantage is committed to providing Texas Charter Schools great deals on quality products. Did you know? Staples is more than just office supplies:
School Supplies, Classroom Furniture, School Uniforms, and Technology Solutions.
"An Outstanding Customer Service Experience." -- J.D. Power and Associates
Contact TCSA's dedicated account manager, Tim Taylor to learn more.
Texas Interscholastic League Foundation Scholarship

The 2014 TILF scholarship application is now open. All application items must be submitted by May 30, 2014. Due to the late competition date of the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest (TSSEC), applicants competing in that contest must have all materials submitted by June 20, 2014.  Read the eligibility requirements.  

Book Festival 13th Annual Youth Fiction Writing Contest - Texas Book Festival 
This year marks the 13th annual Fiction Writing Contest. The theme for this year is "The People Our Parents Warned Us About." The Fiction Writing Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. The submissions are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry. Each year the Festival provides a unique theme. Judges look for excellence in use of dialogue, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12. Deadline: June 2, 2014

Aggie STEM Teacher Professional Development Opportunity 
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) awarded Texas A&M University $256,000 to improve instruction in Texas middle school mathematics and algebra classrooms. The grant funds 110 hours of professional development over the course of one year for teachers who qualify to participate in the program.  More information. 
charter news
star telegram
John Sharp: Education is key to a bright future for Texas
By Anna M. Tinsley; March 20, 2014

The future of this state can be predicted just by peeking into an elementary school classroom. As businesses continue to flock to Texas, it's more crucial than ever to create a skilled workforce -- which means encouraging Texas' youth to go to college, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said Thursday. Read the article. 

Lawmakers Worry Schools Aren't Prepared For New, Confusing Graduation Requirements
By Shelley Kofler;
State lawmakers reviewing new graduation requirements that go into effect in the fall say they're confusing and districts may not be prepared to implement them. Most affected with be eighth graders who in the next few months will be choosing the diploma specialty they want to pursue as they enter their freshman year.
 Listen to the Report.

School Data Finds Pattern of Inequality Along
Racial Lines
By Motoko Rich; March 21, 2014
... In his budget request to Congress, President Obama has proposed a new phase of his administration's Race to the Top competitive grant program, which would give $300 million in incentives to states and districts that put in place programs intended to close some of the educational gaps identified in the data. Read the article.

TEA logo
TEA announces educator teaching and learning conditions survey
AUSTIN - Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today announced an upcoming statewide survey of teachers and administrators on school teaching and learning conditions. The Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) Texas Survey -- which officially opens on April 7 -- will gather information on how teachers and other educators view the teaching and learning conditions at their schools. Read the Press Release.

INTERIM PUBLIC HEARING for the Committee on Education, TEXAS SENATE
COMMITTEE: Education
TIME & DATE: 10:00 AM, Monday, April 14, 2014  
PLACE: E1.028   
CHAIR: Senator Dan Patrick

The Committee will hear invited testimony followed by public testimony on the below interim charges:  redesign of high school English EOC exams & STAAR and HB 5. Public testimony will be limited to two (2) minutes per person. More information 

Save the Date for Charter Summer Summit! 
The Network is sponsoring a state-wide Summit June 16-17, 2014, "Charting the Course."   This 1-1/2 day event features keynote speaker Mark McLeod and more than 45 breakout sessions on the standards of Operations, Finance, Governance, and Education. Charter school experts from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Charter School Association and Education Service Centers, as well as leaders of charters in Texas will provide timely and valuable professional development.  More information.
Registration is $50 and includes a luncheon. REGISTER
Questions? Contact: Melodie Wahlert. 

Help Us Thank A Million Teachers and Give A Million Dollars to Teachers 
Farmers Insurance is giving away $2,500 grants to America's teachers and you can help! Take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in your life and your community.  
job post of the week
NYOS Charter School
Austin, Texas

                                                          Job ID: 547582

Application Deadline: Posted until Filled
Re-posted: March 26, 2014
Starting Date: Immediately 

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Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (T-STEM) Designation(1)
Read the letter.

2014-2017 Texas Title I Priority Schools, Cycle 3
Read the letter.

Required for All Open-Enrollment Charter Schools and State Schools: SC5010 Deadline Approaching
Read the letter.

REVISED Calculator Policy for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Grade 8 Mathematics in 2014-2015 School Year
Read the letter.

2014-2015 IMA Allocations and Purchasing Options
2013 Federal Report Cards are now available on the TEA Website

Clarifying Revision to Online School FIRST Application

Read the letter.

Adoption of New Commissioner's Rule, 19 Texas Administrative Code Section 109.3001, and Incorporation of Guidance Handbooks
Read the letter.

Middle School Students Taking Algebra I
Read the letter.

New SC5010 for All Charters, State Schools
Deadline: 4/7/14 
Read the letter.
2013-2014 Data Validation Monitoring
Deadline: 4/9/2014
Read the letter.