During the annual Texas Association for Bilingual Educators conference – hosted this year in McAllen, Texas – Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza was named as TABE’s 2017 Public Education Honoree.
Mr. Carranza thanked the association in a video and made a call to the more than 1,000 participants of this year’s conference to join HISD in “fighting to ensure that every student has the opportunity to make their dreams come true. Our future depends on it.”
This recognition comes at a moment when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is under siege. “In Houston, approximately 10% of our young people are DACA recipients. And many of our teachers have participated in the DACA program as well. We condemn any decision to end the DACA program, and we vow to stand united with our DACA students and staff,” he reiterated.
That’s why HISD has implemented numerous strategies to support the community and help them understand their rights by developing fact sheets, a website (www.HoustonISD.org/DACA), phone banks in partnership with local media, and summits to provide firsthand assistance with applications for college and financial aid.
“We have made it clear: Every child has the right to a high-quality public education, and we in HISD do not discriminate. We’re doing all of this because in HISD, every student matters,” he is heard saying in the video.
Dr. Altagracia ‘Gracie’ Guerrero, Assistant Superintendent for Multilingual Programs and TABE Vice President, accepted the recognition on his behalf. “It is my greatest honor to accept this award on behalf of the public educator who sets this tone across Houston ISD 24 hours a day 7 days a week. What you see is what you get with Mr. Richard Carranza,” she expressed.
“Though he is unable to physically be here, I assure you that he is here in loving spirit. He has quickly made Texas his home and it is his constant commitment to Texas scholars that has grounded his work and advocacy for our English Learners. Mr. Carranza sends his appreciation and many thanks for this honor,” Dr. Guerrero stated.