One of San Antonio’s largest school districts has signed a memorandum of understanding with the city on the Pre-K 4 SA program.
The San Antonio Independent School district’s board of trustees unanimously approved the partnership with the city last night. SAISD Spokeswoman Leslie Price said the agreement will be the framework between the district, city, and Texas Education Agency:
While President Barack Obama did not mention San Antonio or Mayor Julián Castro by name, he did talk about early education initiatives during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
For a moment in the president's address, it seemed like one of Mayor Castro’s Pre-K 4 SA campaign rallies.
Obama: "Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.”
San Antonio Independent School District is investigating at least five tutoring services that may have committed fraud. The companies are accused of requesting money for providing services to SAISD students that may not have been tutored.
The five companies have received about $240,000 from SAISD, some of which may have been requested fraudulently.
The Texas Education Agency has suspended issuing ratings for school districts this year as students get used to the new state exam. Three schools and one school district, who would have had their public school status revoked, have been given what amounts to a stay of execution because of the suspension.
Northside Independent School District could see a bond election next year as district officials push off the need for one in 2013. Northside has seen about 3,000 additional students to the district ever year and the student population is now close to 100,000 students and 110 schools.
Lawmakers cut $5.4 billion to public education during the last legislative session, which meant districts had to act fast.
"We have looked at turning lights off, adjusting air conditioning systems, redoing transportation bus routes," said North East ISD Superintendent Dr. Brian Gottardy, who said that 85 percent of his budget is education.
Gottardy didn't have to cut positions and instead reduced his staff through attrition, which still meant larger class sizes.
Just as the first round of results are posted, the 83rd Texas Legislature will be considering streamlining standardized testing. Of those state legislators with bills addressing the issue is Rep. Mike Villareal, D-San Antonio, but the reform push is being supported by both sides of the isle.
Last spring, students in Houston took a brand new standardized exam, the STAAR. The state plans to release the grades for thousands of students later today. But the whole testing system could get an overhaul from the Texas Legislature this session, as Laura Isensee reports from the KUHF Education Desk.