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TIVA 2015 Midwinter Conference Professional Development Conference


SkillsUSA-Texas Day at Capitol

February 2015:

Reminder:  TIVA joins SkillsUSA-Texas in hosting students at the Texas Capitol February 15 & 16 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.

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.

Feds: No waiver on HB 866


AUSTIN – The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) has notified the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that it will not grant a waiver for specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (commonly known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) as it relates to House Bill 866 (HB 866).

Had a waiver been secured from the federal government, potential changes under HB 866 would have included math assessments for certain students in grades 3, 5 and 8; and reading in grades 3, 5 and 8. High-performing students would have been exempt from taking these assessments in grades 4, 6, and 7. Current federal law requires testing for math and reading for all students in grades 3 through 8.

Click here to read the full report.

The general NCLB waiver request for the State of Texas is available for viewing on the TEA website.

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