Laura Isensee | Houston Public Media

As the school year starts in many districts across the country, a new national poll of teachers from NPR/Ipsos finds overwhelming trepidation about returning to the physical classroom.

Houston Independent School District

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a strike force in charge of laying steps to reopen the Texas economy at a press conference in the capitol on April 17.
Miguel Gutierrez/POOL via The Texas Tribune

Texans rallied outside the state Capitol over the weekend, pushing for Gov. Greg Abbott to quickly reopen the state. But, as Texas COVID-19 deaths continue to rise, Abbott’s planning a more gradual approach and outlined a phased reopening for the state’s economy on Friday.

Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

In the last three years, Fort Bend schools have seen the demand for special education almost double. More teachers and parents are asking for children to be tested for a disability – which district leaders say is a huge step forward since the end of a Texas policy that denied services to tens of thousands of children for over a decade.

Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

Twice, Britany Miller has asked for special education services and accommodations at two different Houston-area charter schools for her son, Nicholas Davis, who struggles with depression and an attention disorder.

Carolinda Acevedo, 13
Chris Paul / Houston Public Media

Last year, as a seventh-grader at Lake Jackson Intermediate, Carolinda Acevedo struggled in class — even though she loves learning. She'd stay up late to finish her homework, but then did poorly on state exams. She lost interest in her favorite hobby, making slime in all the colors of the rainbow. Her anxiety and mood disorder flared up so much that Carolinda had to be hospitalized, her mom Christina Acevedo says.

It's 5 o'clock in the morning, and Sarah Salazar would rather be sleeping. Not just because it's early. Or because she's a teenager and can't seem to get enough sleep. Doctors say the shotgun pellets embedded in her shoulder, lung and back have sent her lead levels skyrocketing and leave her feeling tired much of the time.

Pexels

Handwriting is making a comeback in schools across the state. Currently, the majority of Texas school districts don’t teach students to write in cursive, but that will change in the 2019-2020 school year.

Texas school funding is getting a close look – and potentially major changes – from lawmakers in Austin this legislative session. And a new report from the nonprofit EdBuild has a striking number to add to that conversation: $23 billion.

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Back-to-school shopping has been different this year for Annette Holder, whose son Clayton is an incoming freshman at Santa Fe High School.

The school’s new metal detectors mean more composition books, fewer three-ring binders – or really anything with metal.

Laura Isensee / Houston Public Media

Several hundred people gathered Wednesday night at the Santa Fe Junior High School football stadium to grieve and try to understand the school shooting that killed eight students and two teachers last week.

A group of local pastors organized the service, which they called a “night of hope and healing.”

The Texas Supreme Court just doesn't want to get involved in how the state pays for its public schools. That was the signal the nine justices sent Friday when they unanimously ruled the state school funding system, which historically has been one of the country's most controversial, constitutional.