Our Chance to Stand Up for Public Schools

///Our Chance to Stand Up for Public Schools

On March 19th in Austin, the public will have a rare chance to testify about the importance of investing in our public schools. The new Texas Commission on Public School Finance will have its first — and possibly only — meeting that is open to public testimony.

Two years ago, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the way our state funds its public schools was barely constitutional. In response, the Legislature created a 13-member commission to investigate and recommend improvements for our school finance system. The members will also be looking at possible ways to change the property tax system, which funds a large percentage of public schools because of declining state support.

The Commission hearing on March 19 is a rare chance for Texans to speak out in a public forum about the value of public education. We hope parents, educators, students, and other community members will take advantage of this opportunity!

Participation details:

March 19, 2018 – 9 a.m.
William B. Travis Building – Room 1-104
1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin, TX
The meetings will be webcast at: http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/tea/
*Please note: Public testimony will be limited to three minutes per person and sign up sheets will be posted on this website two days prior to the meeting and available at the meeting.
For those unable to attend the meeting for public testimony, written testimony can be emailed to schoolfinancecommission@tea.texas.gov.

Check out event info here.

Those who testify should be sure to mention some of these important points:

  1. A) Study the appropriate levels of school funding: To ensure all students have access to a high quality education, the state should research how much it actually costs for schools to meet educational standards we have in place.
  2. B) Increase investments in early education: School districts in Texas only receive funding for a half-day program, even when they provide a full-day program. To improve Pre-K quality and participation, the state should fund full-day Pre-K for all districts offering a full-day program.
  3. C) Increase state support for public education: The state only contributes 38 percent of the funding provided to public education because under the current system rising property values allow the state to contribute less. Increasing base level funding to meet identifiable costs benefits all districts and helps to even out funding between the state and local property taxes.

Read more about the need to remodel our school finance system at http://bit.ly/financeschools. See you on March 19!

Chandra Villanueva joined the Center for Public Policy Priorities in 2010 and focuses on school finance and education policy ranging from early education to higher education access and success. Prior to joining the Center, Chandra was the manager of Advocacy and Public Policy with the Women’s Prison Association (WPA) in New York City. At WPA, she educated formerly incarcerated women on the legislative process and researched options for pregnant women in the criminal justice system. Chandra has also served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center with placements in Tucson, Arizona and Washington, DC. Chandra earned a Master of Public Administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

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