News from the State Board of Education

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Help shape the Long-Range Plan for Public Education

Long-Range Plan Logo

Texans have the opportunity to help shape a new Long-Range Plan for Public Education by completing an online survey that is available in English and Spanish.

The survey is open through 5 p.m. March 2. The link to the survey in English is The link to the survey in Spanish is

Recognize student volunteers

2017 Student Hero Hunter Beaton

The State Board of Education is accepting nominations for the Student Heroes award, which recognizes public school students who voluntarily perform a service that benefits their school or community. The nomination deadline is March 9.

Volunteer projects of past recipients include mentoring struggling students, creating a program that provides essential supplies to children in foster care, providing stuffed animals to sick children, hosting birthday parties for students living at homeless shelters, establishing a school drumline, providing a support group for emotionally fragile students and voluntarily coaching a cheer squad that performs at Special Olympics events.

Fifteen students – one per board district – will be selected as a Student Hero. Each award recipient will receive a plaque, which is typically presented during a school awards ceremony.

Volunteer to review language arts and reading material

 The Texas Education Agency (TEA) needs volunteers and nominees to review English and Spanish language arts and reading instructional materials.

In April 2017, the State Board of Education (SBOE) called for instructional materials aligned to the new kindergarten through grade 8 language arts Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The materials will be reviewed during the summer of 2018 and available for use in classrooms in the 2019–20 school year.

Teachers, administrators, parents, business community members, and others with appropriate content knowledge are all welcome. Nomination/volunteer forms are available on the TEA website.

SBOE and SBEC examine teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention issues

SBEC and SBOE chairs

About 800 educators came together to attend the Learning Roundtable: Recruiting, Preparing and Retaining Top Teachers, sponsored by the State Board of Education and the State Board for Educator Certification.        

The conference examined topics such as “grow your own” teacher recruitment programs and ways to support experienced teachers.

Employing highly-effective teachers is one of the most crucial issues facing Texas districts. Texas districts employ about 352,756 teachers. With a typical annual enrollment increase of about 70,000 and 16 percent annual turnover rate teachers leave the profession through retirements or resignations. Retaining strong teachers is a constant issue for most districts.

Videos of the Learning Roundtable presentations, as well as the presenters’ presentations, are available online at

Summary of February SBOE actions is available

A summary of actions taken at the Feb. 2 State Board of Education general meeting is now posted.

10 Texas teachers vie for presidential award

The State Board of Education at its February meeting recognized five mathematics teachers and five science teachers as state finalists for the 2017 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

This award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through grade 12 mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.

2017 PAEMST math finalists
(From left to right) Math honorees and TEA coordinators: Mark Rogers (Meridian World School, Round Rock, TX) James Slack (TEA) Nicole Bennett (Amarillo ISD, Amarillo, TX) Jean Streepey (Highland Park ISD, Dallas, TX) Megan Gabriel (Denton ISD, Denton, TX) Lauren Hawkins (Richardson ISD, Richardson, TX) Jo Ann Bilderback (TEA) Carrie Alexander (TEA)
2017 Science PAEMST finalists
(From left to right) Science honorees and TEA coordinators:Irene Pickhardt (TEA) Luis Salinas (TEA) Laura Frost (Ft. Worth ISD, Ft. Worth, TX) Terry Snow (Aledo ISD, Aledo, TX) Kara Swindell (Lubbock ISD, Lubbock, TX) Lollie Garay (Redd School, Houston, TX) Kay Fincher (Amarillo ISD, Amarillo, TX) Jo Ann Bilderback (TEA) Liz Baker (TEA)

SBOE honors Blue Ribbon Schools recipients

Blue Ribbon Schools luncheon

The State Board of Education hosted a luncheon in honor of the 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools award recipients during the TASA Midwinter Conference. Twenty-six Texas public schools won this prestigious honor. The board will also consider a resolution in honor of these schools at its April meeting.

Upcoming events

Feb. 28 – Long-Range Plan Community Conversation, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Region 16 Education Service Center’s Panhandle Conference Center, 5800 Bell St., Amarillo

March 2 – State Board for Educator Certification meeting, 8:30 a.m., Travis State Office Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin, Room 1-104

 March 2 – The Long-Range Plan survey closes at 5 p.m.

 March 7 – The Texas Commission on Public School Finance meets, Travis State Office Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin, Room 1-104

 March 9 – Deadline for Student Heroes nominations