U.S. Senate Caucus on CTE & SkillsUSA-Texas Day at Capitol

February 2013:  In conjunction with the beginning of CTE Month 2014, ACTE worked with U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) to form the new Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus. As co-chairs, the senators will use the bipartisan caucus to bring attention to improving and strengthening access to high-quality, rigorous CTE. Please contact your senators and urge them to join the caucus today! Read more…

Reminder:  TIVA joins SkillsUSA-Texas in hosting students at the Texas Capitol February 23 & 24 for SkillsUSA-Texas Day at the Capitol.  Students will be allowed to conduct a mock legislative session in the House Chambers inside the Capitol!  To walk in the House Chambers is a privilege very few people get to experience.  Click here to register:  http://www.skillsusatx.org/skillsusa-texas-legislative-day/legislative-day/

New TEA Associate Commissioner Named

Martinez named TEA Associate Commissioner
for Standards and Programs
 

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today that he has named Monica Martinez as Associate Commissioner for Standards and Programs for the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

As Associate Commissioner, Martinez will oversee the TEA department that includes the division areas related to Curriculum; Instructional Materials and Educational Technology, and Federal and State Education Policy.

“Monica Martinez has the experience, knowledge and skill set necessary to lead this important department of our agency,” said Commissioner Williams. “In addition, she possesses a commitment shared by everyone at TEA in working to make the best decisions for all our school children and for the future of Texas.”

Martinez – who’s been with TEA since 2004 – has been overseeing the department on an interim basis since September of this year. While with TEA, she has held various positions including curriculum director, policy director, and managing director within the Standards and Programs Department.

During her tenure with TEA, Martinez has worked with internal staff and external stakeholders on various initiatives regarding the standards and curriculum in Texas classrooms including implementation of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), and, most recent, the transition to new high school graduation plans under House Bill 5.

Martinez holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Application to Serve on CTE TEKS Review Committees

Background

The State Board of Education (SBOE) has legislative authority to adopt the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each subject of the required curriculum. SBOE members nominate educators, parents, business and industry representatives, and employers to serve on TEKS review committees. This page provides information regarding the review and revision of the career and technical education (CTE) TEKS.

Application to Serve on CTE TEKS Review Committees

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is now accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the TEKS review committees for the review and revision of the CTE TEKS. Please submit a completed application along with a current résumé to the Curriculum Division via email to teks@tea.state.tx.us or via FAX to (512) 463-8057.

Applications are due no later than Friday, January 10, 2014, 5:00 p.m.

Download the CTE TEKS Review Application (PDF, 57KB)

Questions related to the application or the TEKS review process can be directed to Shelly Ramos, Director of Academic Standards and Services, at (512) 463-9581.

Access TEA’s webpage for Career and Technical Education (CTE) TEKS Review by clicking here or copy this link into your browser:   http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=25769807883

 

Click here to find out who your SBOE member is.

Click here to read about your SBOE member!

After you send in your application to serve on these important review committees, contact your SBOE member and discuss why you would make a good representative on the review committee for your course’s TEKS!  Try to set up an appointment to also meet with them face-to-face; maybe invite him/her to lunch.

Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Proposed Rules

10/24/13:  TDLR Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration rules (16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 75, §§75.25, 75.26, 75.80). The amendments are proposed to implement changes made by Senate Bill 383, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session (2013) relating to the regulation of air conditioning and refrigeration contractors and technicians; to implement the repeal of Subchapter H relating to the regulation of refrigerants and the state certificates of registration to purchase refrigerants; and to implement changes recommended by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board regarding continuing education hours.

The proposal was published in the October 4, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 6832). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until November 4, 2013.

The Department encourages anyone interested in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors program to review the rule proposal online. View the proposed rules

Comments may be submitted by email to erule@tdlr.texas.gov.

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The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Advisory Board is scheduled to meet Thursday, November 14 at 9:30 a.m. in the 1st Floor Public Meeting Room (125E) of TDLR’s North Campus, located at 1106 Clayton Lane in Austin.

When the agenda is available, it will be posted online. The meeting will be broadcast live and available for viewing via RealPlayer.

TDLR will also hold an Open Forum on Energy Efficiency the same day at 1:00 p.m. at the same location. This meeting will also be broadcast live and available for viewing via RealPlayer.

Electricians Proposed Rules

10:28:13 Electricians TDLR Advisory Committee

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to the Electricians rules (16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 73, §§73.10, 73.20, 73.24-73.26, 73.28, 73.53, 73.100). The amendments are proposed to implement House Bill 796, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session (2013) which amended Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305 relating to the regulation of electricians and to update the technical standard to the current edition of the National Electrical Code.

The proposal was published in the October 4, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 6829). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until November 4, 2013.

The Department encourages anyone interested in the Electricians program to review the rule proposal online. View the proposed rules

Comments may be submitted by email to erule@tdlr.texas.gov.

The Department also proposes amendments to the Electricians rules (16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 73, §73.80). The amendments are proposed to add a new fee for application and renewal of a journeyman lineman’s license which is a new class created by House Bill 796, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session (2013); to reduce various application and renewal fees as part of the Department’s annual fee review; and for general rule clean-up.

The proposal was published in the October 4, 2013, issue of the Texas Register (38 TexReg 6831). The Department will accept comments on the proposal until November 4, 2013.

The Department encourages anyone interested in the Electricians program to review the rule proposal online. View the proposed rules related to fees

Comments may be submitted by email to erule@tdlr.texas.gov.

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The Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board is scheduled to meet Thursday, November 7 at 9:00 a.m. in the 1st Floor Public Meeting Room (125E) of TDLR’s North Campus, located at 1106 Clayton Lane in Austin.

When the agenda is available, it will be posted online. The meeting will be broadcast live and available for viewing via RealPlayer.

BrownsvilleISD Launches Wind & Solar Energy Demo Project

The Brownsville (TX) Herald    (10/10, Long) reported officials in the Brownsville Independent School District say a wind and solar energy demonstration project at Veterans Memorial High School will teach students about renewable energy. When all of the equipment has been installed, “students will be able to monitor the energy produced via a web-based system that will provide real-time data on the two systems,” according to BISD energy manager Santiago Otero. The article notes that VMHS is home to the district’s Science, Engineering, Architecture and Medical Professions magnet school. Like all high schools in the district, it also offers numerous CTE programs of study. Tim Snyder, BISD administrator of CTE, said the “project fits in well with the CTE offerings.” Snyder said, “It also exposes our kids to green energy, which is a fast-growing area in the business world as well as the engineering world.”

Letter to U.S. Senator Cornyn

10/11/13:  Students from District 11 met with U.S. Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) at the SkillsUSA Washington Leadership Training Institute earlier this month.  SkillsUSA-Texas had 98 students and advisors attend.  Below is an excerpt from a letter Julian Acevedo, TIVA President Elect, wrote Senator Cornyn thanking him for visiting with our students:

“As this country moves forward, it is the young people of today that are going to make a difference tomorrow. As a retired USAF veteran and a career and technical education teacher, I want to make a difference in the students I teach. Molding our future leaders today will benefit us in the future.  SkillsUSA has our future leaders.  In the picture attached, the student on the far right, is Michaella, an 8th grader at Kitty Hawk Middle School, in Universal City, Texas. When, I first met Michaella, she was just a 6th grader and wasn’t sure of her future. As a 7th grader, Michaella took my small engine class. Now as an 8th grader, she is enrolled in my Principles of Manufacturing class, which is a class for high school credit.  She is learning to be a welder. Michaella is one of my recent success stories. She is the president of our local SkillsUSA Chapter and competed last year as a 7th grader, at the SkillsUSA-Texas State Leadership and Skills Conference , competing against high school students. Michaella did very well.  Michaella was the only middle school student from the state of Texas to attend WLTI. As you can tell, I am very proud of her and wish her continued success. None of this could have been possible without the continued support of Carl D. Perkins funding for Career and Technical education.  As you are aware, in the state of Texas there are many jobs that go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers. Now, I do favor career and technical education and every student acquiring a skill, but an education is very important.  On my wall, in my class room is a quote, “Some students go to college.  Some students go to work. Career and Technical education prepares them for both.”  Author unknown.  Senator, I ask for your continued support of Career and Technical Education and Carl Perkins funding. We need to keep our jobs in Texas and in the United States for this nation to remain the leader it is. Thank you.

Gov. Perry urges support of Proposition 6 – to fund the state water plan

10/9/13: Today Gov. Perry stated, “Prop. 6 presents us with a historic opportunity to fund water projects that will ensure we have the water we need to grow and thrive, for the next five decades,” Gov. Perry said. “We’re talking about projects like new reservoirs, state-of-the-art desalination plants, and utilizing new technology to conserve and re-use current supplies. This is simply too vital an issue, and too narrow a window of opportunity, to come up short on the brink of meeting our water needs.”

With voter approval on Nov. 5, Prop. 6 will authorize a one-time, $2 billion transfer from the Rainy Day Fund to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). No state taxes will increase as a result of creating this fund. The SWIFT will leverage funding up to $30 billion in water projects over five decades, effectively fulfilling the state’s portion of water plan funding. This constitutional amendment would require the regional and statewide prioritization of water projects provided in the plan and would make the financing of these projects more affordable, enabling local communities to access cost-effective interest rates to invest in water needs.

Click here to read full article.

Click here to read about Governor’s visit to Lake Texoma Pipeline Extension Project

What happens exactly during a government shutdown?

10/9/13 – Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. Under the Constitution, Congress must pass laws to spend money. If Congress can’t agree on a spending bill the government does not have the legal authority to spend money. Since 1976, there have been 17 shutdowns, though before the 1980?s the government continued operating at reduced levels without furloughing workers. The last one lasted 21 days from Dec. 15, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996.
Since the government runs on a fiscal year from October 1 to September 30, the spending authorization ended October 1st.   Read more by clicking here.

U.S. House Subcommittee: CTE Hearing

9/17/13:  The Education Week  (9/17, Klein) “Politics K-12” blog reported the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will hold its first hearing on he reauthorization of the Perkins Act on September 20. The last renewal was aimed in part at better aligning the Perkins Act with the accountability requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act law. Last year, the Obama administration released “its own blueprint for renewing CTE.” The administration proposed “making CTE dollars (which are now distributed by formula) competitive within states.” The Association for Career and Technical opposed the idea, the article noted. One question going into this reauthorization is “what’s going to be the definition of ‘career’?” The ACTE “has some ideas that the organization says will help break down the barrier between an academic pathway and ‘career’ education.”

Also this Friday, the reauthorization process for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act will begin with a hearing called “Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs.” The hearing will be held by the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

John Fischer, NASDCTEc President and Deputy Commissioner at the Vermont Agency of Education, will testify. Sheila Harrity, Principal of Worcester Technical High School in Massachusetts and NASSP Principal of the Year, will also testify.

Hearing: Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs: A Discussion on Career and Technical Education and Training Programs
Time: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:00 am ET
Location: Rayburn Building, Room 2175

The hearing will be available on a live webcast. In case you are unable to attend, we will provide a detailed summary in Friday’s legislative update.