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LOOKING IN FROM THE OUTSIDE

20110506_texas-association-of_profile_TNTASB advice could have saved Texas schools over $96 million

Editor’s note: The following is the second part of a two-part series on local school district staffing methodologies. The Progress Times met with school administrators and education advocates to determine how districts deal with maintaining their staffing levels and whether a standard should be required.

LA JOYA — Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) representatives met staff at the La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) this week to start a review of its workforce. Interviewing all kinds of employees from principals to custodial staff, the group is charged with helping the district identify which positions, if any, it can eliminate if a worker leaves the district.

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Economic advocates propose suing for equitable funding

20110506-Economic-advocatesMcALLEN — If Rio Grande Valley school districts want to fight for equitable funding per student in line with wealthier Texas school districts, it must pursue a litigation battle with the state, citing the unconstitutionality in school funding, Sharyland board Vice President Ricky Longoria said Wednesday.

But while schools can’t spend money on such litigation, Longoria suggested the business community help finance legal action as the impacts of budget shortfalls greatly impinge on commerce here.

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Mission resident questions causes of city flooding

20110506_Drainage-Map_BIGEditor’s Note: The following is an article on flooding problems submitted by Ned Sheats who has been researching flooding issues since 2008. This is his second article that is the result of research, interviews with city and county officials and his own opinions on what he’s learned.

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Read more: Mission resident questions causes of city flooding

   

Seventh Circuit upholds National Day of Prayer

AUSTIN — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on April 21 vacated a lower court’s ruling and dismissed a lawsuit claiming that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. Last week’s ruling found that the Freedom From Religion Foundation had no standing to challenge the President’s National Day of Prayer proclamation because the presidential action had not caused the plaintiffs any harm.

“Last week’s ruling was an important victory for religious liberties,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “The federal appeals court overturned the lower court’s decision and dismissed the challenge to the National Day of Prayer.”

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New Digital Online Editions

20110429_MD_Issue-BoxThe Progress Times is introducing a new online service for our readers and advertisers. Special sections of the Progress Times, such as today’s Mother’s Day Shopping Guide, will now be available online at www.progresstimes.net under the “Digital Editions” tab.

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Autism: A Child’s Silent Struggle

20110425-Renaud-Autism-005McALLEN — Melissa Renaud remembers the first time her son said, ”I love you.” He was 5 years old lying in bed after a hard day at school. She held him and stroked his hair for comfort and said, “Everything is OK. You need to be strong and we are here for you.” She knew he probably wouldn’t respond. However, in that moment, her son made direct eye contact, which isn’t normal, and said, ”I love you.”

Renaud’s son, Mikey, now 10 years old, was diagnosed with autism at age three. His diagnosis has united the family over the years. Together they have learned how to overcome obstacles to help their son have a chance to excel in life, and through their efforts to help Mikey, they have educated others.

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STUDYING SCHOOL STAFFING

Districts look for an outside view

Editor’s note: The following is the first part of a two-part series on local school district staffing methodologies. The Progress Times has met with school administrators and education advocates to determine how districts deal with maintaining their staffing levels and whether a standard should be required.

MISSION — In the ongoing economic uncertainty for education funding, local school districts have begun cutting excess spending anywhere they can from energy efficiency to consolidating bus routes, office supplies, equipment and general departmental budget cuts.

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SISD says no to open enrollment

shraryland-logo_TNMISSION — Sharyland Independent School District board members decided not to pursue open enrollment during their recent board meeting.

“Sharyland’s a school community. People come here basically for the schools,” said SISD Superintendent Scott Owings.

At a previous board meeting, officials discussed open enrollment and charging tuition based on the difference the state would give for an enrolled student and what the district actually pays for a student’s education.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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