My heart goes out to the people in East and Southeast Texas, as well as our neighbors in Louisiana, who have been affected by Hurricane Laura. While a last-minute change in direction spared much of Texas from vast destruction, the aftermath of this horrifying natural disaster has devastated countless communities and left thousands without electricity, water, or shelter.
Our nation has been tested with unprecedented challenges over the last eight months – we’ve fought against a foreign virus that indiscriminately infected the globe, endured isolation and lost loved ones, grappled with injustices, encountered social unrest and violence, felt the effects of a slowing economy and historic unemployment, and weathered two catastrophic hurricanes. If you find yourself wondering, “What else could go wrong in 2020?” I can assure you you’re not alone.
As I monitored the path of Hurricane Laura, I found myself flipping through a book written by the famous Christian poet and hymn author, Annie Johnson Flint, titled “He Giveth More Grace.” I want to share an excerpt from one of her passages that I found particularly moving with the hope that you’ll find the same comfort her writing brought me and carry it with you as we continue confronting our collective challenges.
“He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction, He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, He multiplies peace.”
With that, here’s this week’s Capitol update. . .
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) recently announced the procurement of over 1 million personal devices and internet Wi-Fi hotspots with federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). This procurement will ensure that students will have both a device and connection to the internet throughout the 2020-2021 school year and beyond. I applaud this effort, as I’ve been an outspoken proponent of increasing high-speed internet access to rural and underserved areas across the state. As students and teachers rely more heavily on virtual learning, it is critical that the State of Texas does its part to close the digital divide and facilitate greater access to the technology and tools that support our new learning environment.
I also want to recognize and thank the countless educators across our state who have prepared for this new school year under unusual circumstances. Whether you’re a principal weighing the decision to provide online or in-person instruction, a teacher adapting to new technology, or a custodian working overtime to prepare a safe and sanitary learning environment for our students; your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed, and we are so grateful for your commitment to serving the students of Texas.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our District office may be reached at (936) 634-2762.