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School boards are elected representative that oversee school districts. They receive training in the laws and rules of the state education system. For more information, visit the Texas Education Agency website.
In the U.S., the federal government has a limited role in education. Instead, most education policy is decided at the state and local level. This is why local elections matter. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
Local funding is generated through a maintenance and operations property tax based on local taxable values. Each school district (through its school board) adopts certain M&O tax rates per $100 of taxable property valuation. State funding for public education comes from the state's General Revenue-Related Funds and the state's Property Tax Relief Fund. For more information, visit the Texas Comptroller's website.
The long-term impact of school shutdowns is still being measured, though GCISD's students did improve their scores again post-Covid due to valiant efforts by GCISD educators. The effects on K-3 children especially will be felt for years, since those are the ages at which children learn basic skills to acquire all future knowledge. For more information, see this PBS article.
Artificial Intelligence is likely the most transformative technology of the 21st century. The classroom applications are endless and quickly developing, and thus, should be approached with caution due to their novelty. For example, ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, can be used to write whole papers for students. For more information about AI and other education trends, check out this article from Forbes.