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On Fronteras: TX Threatens To Leave Refugee Program, Latinos Head Texas’ 8 Largest School Districts

Stella Chavez
Arlington Independent School District Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos stands with Melissa Aguilar during Operation Graduation Walk last Saturday. Cavazos spent the morning visiting students like Melissa in an effort to convince them to return to school.

This week on Fronteras:   

·         Texas threatens to leave the federal refugee resettlement program.

·         The top eight largest school districts in Texas are now headed by Latinos.

·         A profile of Texas newest superintendent, Houston ISD’s Richard Carranza.

·         San Diego businesses are leading private efforts to help immigrants become citizens.

·         The state of nuclear cleanup efforts at Los Alamos – birthplace of the atomic bomb.

·         A community project of murals de semillas on display in Albuquerque.

Texas Threatens To Leave U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program

The state of Texas is threatening to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program at the end of the month unless its demands are met. The federal government says it will not change its refugee resettlement program for Texas. KERA’s Stephanie Kuo has reaction from refugee aid groups.

The Story

Latinos Head State’s Eight Largest School Districts

While the state has issues resettling refugees, its school boards are extremely comfortable hiring Latino superintendents. Every one of Texas' eight largest cities now has a Latino running the school district.  Stella Chavez of KERA digs into the implications for students, schools and the politics of education.

The Story

Newest Latino Superindent:  HISD’s Richard Carranza

The newest Latino superintendent is Richard Carranza in Houston. He impressed the Houston Independent School District with his credentials…and his voice – he’s a trained mariachi. 

Houston Public Media’s Laura Isensee [EYE-zen-see] tells us how Carranza got his start, and what his leadership could mean for Houston students.

The Story

San Diego Businesses Help Immigrants Become Citizens

In San Diego,  more than 50 businesses are helping eligible immigrants become citizens. It’s part of the National Immigration Forum's New American Workforce project.  Jean Guerrero of KPBS reports the goal aims to boost productivity and a sense of community at work.  

The Story

Nuclear Cleanup Still Underway At Los Alamos

Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has been one of the country’s foremost nuclear research centers ever since the atomic bomb was developed there in the 1940’s.  Weapons and engineering programs continue in the lab today, but as KUNM’s Ed Williams reports, the U.S. Department of Energy is still cleaning up waste left over from World War TWO.

The Story

The Community Seed Mural Project

A series of ten murals -- all made entirely out of seeds, is on display at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center.  The murals, inspired by murales de semillas, a Mexican community art form, were created in towns,  schools, and at community events around the state. KUNM’s Spencer Beckwith spoke with artist Jade Leyva, founder of Seeds A Collective Voice.  

The Story

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules