June SGS Newsletter

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System of Great Schools Newsletter

June 2021

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From the DSSI Team

Summit Agenda is Live! The SGS Summit will be gathering in three weeks, but the experience begins now with the launch of our interactive virtual platform, Accelevents! To register, please click the button below.

Button, register for summit

Once you register, you can build your Summit agenda by bookmarking the sessions you want to attend and adding them to your personal calendar! Also, stay tuned for more information about speakers, who will be announced soon. Please forward this info. to district leaders who would be interested in Summit sessions, including:

  • board members,
  • Superintendents,
  • Innovation Office staff, and
  • other cabinet leaders.

If you have any questions, please email Michael Barba. We hope you enjoy exploring the agenda and are looking forward to seeing you soon!

High Impact Tutoring: DSSI is leading a webinar series to provide an overview of key elements in implementing high impact tutoring and to introduce TEA-funded supports for this work. See the high impact tutoring toolkit; webinars below:


ESSER II Update: Allocation amounts for ESSER II are available here. As previously announced, LEAs are eligible for a hold harmless in the 20-21 SY. Hold harmless amounts specified here. To the extent that LEAs are eligible for a hold-harmless, ESSER II funds will be dedicated to the hold-harmless. For more info, see the updated Attendance & Enrollment FAQ and the new ESSER II subsection on the Waivers, Finance, & Grants page.

ESSER III Update: USDE issued updated guidance in late May. Highlights include:

  • ESSER Funds are Interchangable: Any allowable use in ESSER I, II, or III is an allowable use for the other ESSER funds. In other words, the allowable uses are interchangable. TEA will follow USDE's guidance. See AU-Q64 in TEA's FAQ.
  • Facilities & Construction: Minor remodeling, rennovations, repairs, and new build construction are eligible expenses. This includes HVAC. USDE requires prior TEA approval. (Form here.) USDE is discouraging use of ESSER funds for this purpose, but these are allowable expenses. See GR-Q58.
  • Time & Effort (T&E): Detail has been added in writing to the T&E requirements. LEAs must only record T&E if a person is split-funded and part of their work time is not allowable under the grant. USDE anticipates few situations in which T&E are needed. This is consistent with past TEA guidance in GR-Q38.
  • Staff Retention Stipend: This information has been updated; please see AU-Q11.

See the ESSER FAQ and the ESSER III grant page for more.

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 Updates & Opportunities

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NACSA is hosting three events this June in its Unchartered Waters series to explore finance. Sessions include:

  • June 3: an authorizer’s role in charter school financial oversight,
  • June 10: how federal funding impacts charters, and
  • June 17: how to put effective oversight into action.

The District Charter Alliance is hosting a networking event on July 27 - 28 for district, charter, non-profit, and university leaders to meet and learn more about 1882 parnterships in Texas. Register here.

DCA event


 Grants & Resources

The following grant opportunities may help districts provide the schools that students and families want and need. For more details on state grants, see the TEA Grant Opportunities Page.

High-Impact Tutoring Workshops: TEA is excited to announce a month-long, intensive series of 4-8 workshops from June 21st to July 16th to give technical assistance to quickly start up high-impact tutoring. Thirty LEAs will be accepted. Applications due Monday, June 7.

The Texas Education for Homeless Children & Youth Grant is a competitive grant awarded every three years to promote school stability and improve enrollment, identification, attendance, and academic outcomes for homeless children. Projected grant amounts by district available here. Application deadline extended to Tues., June 8.

K-5 and 6-12 Literacy Coaching and PD Grants: TEA will provide 28 grants of $50,000 - $104,000 per year for 3 years for literacy coach pipelines and regional HQIM conferences. Separate applications for K-5 and 6-12. Competitive preference for rural and Qualified Opportunity Zone ISDs. Webinar on June 9; LOI (K-5 / 6-12) due June 14; applications due June 28.

Connect Texas: The federal govt. is offering $7 billion nationally to reimburse LEAs who provide at-home internet to students. The FCC will approve applications on a first come, first served basis. TEA will help LEAs rapidly submit applications. The application window opens on July 1. CTOs and CFOs should attend the June 15 webinar. For background info, see the May webinar (passcode: 9WfXi6.Q)

Community & University Partnerships: TEA will provide 6 planning grants of $200,000 to provide students access to great schools and create strong partnerships to increase family and community support. Year 2 continuation grants of $400,000. ISDs eligible if (1) student population is >85% eco. dis., and (2) more than 1 school is IR or locally-rated low-performing. LOI due June 11 (Email Harold Wright); applications due July 1. See the Community Partnerships Overview and Webpage for more.

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Network News

Congratulations to San Antonio ISD CIO Mohammed Choudhury, who was named Superintendent of Maryland Schools! His team played a key role in SAISD increasing its districtwide rating from an F to a B, increasing A and B seats by more than 10,000 students (an almost five-fold increase) and quadrupling the number of A and B campuses from which families can now choose. We will definitely miss him!

Ector County ISD Supt. Muri explained best practices in program design and outcomes-based contracting for high-dosage tutoring. Spring ISD will be featured in a future webinar.

Spring ISD is expanding eligibility for full-day PK4 in the 21-22 SY. 

Midland and Ector County ISDs' partnership through Opportunity Culture was featured in local media.

Garland ISD published open enrollment info explaining the interdistrict transfer process. 

In Beaumont ISD, Green Dot announced a new principal for MLK Middle School.

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Dates & Deadlines

June 3: Community Conversation on Charter School Financial Oversight (register)

June 8: Education for Homeless Children & Youth Grant application due

June 9: Literacy Coaching & PD Grants webinar (register)

June 10: Expert Roundtable on How Federal Funding Impacts Charter Schools (register)

June 11: Community & University Partnerships intent to apply due (Email Harold Wright)

June 14: Intent to apply due for Literacy Coaching & PD Grants (K-5 / 6-12)

June 15: Connect Texas Program Webinar (register)

June 17: Putting It Into Action: Effective Budget Oversight for FY22 (register)

July 1: Community & University Partnerships application due (see overview)

July 1: Connect Texas application opens; awards on first-come, first-served basis.

June 22-23: SGS Summit (register & build your agenda!)

July 27-28: DCA Networking event (register)