From the inbox, sent by Sue Dimenn Deigaard:
Over the past week I have heard several legislators make the misleading claim that they increased funding for public education this past session. As a parent with a child that is in a classroom with 29 other students this year, and as a parent that regularly attends local school board meetings where I witness their laborious and stressful discussions about where they can attempt to cut even more from our school district without further harm to our classrooms, I continue to be reminded why it is so imperative that we collaborate as a community to spread honest facts about the challenges confronting our public schools and engage others in support of effective policies and funding for public education in Texas.
Last session we all worked hard to minimize the impact of the legislature’s cuts on Texas students. The result was a $5 billion reduction in funding as opposed to the nearly $10 billion that was originally proposed. Through our letters, petitions, meetings with legislators, community outreach, and rallies, WE made that difference.
But there is still work to be done if we want public education to be a priority in Texas. In addition to the second round of cuts that most Texas school districts will experience this fall, the structural budget deficit that was not addressed by this legislature, coupled with the creative accounting that was utilized to balance the current budget with things like deferred payments, will set the stage for the potential of even more funding cuts again next year.
Over the past year, you have all expressed interest or have engaged in supporting public education in Texas. Below are 3 upcoming events where you can connect with other parents and community members to build a collaboration of support for Texas schools, learn how you can effectively advocate for public education, and hear updates on the issues.
I will also leave you with this gem of video from the House Appropriations Committee meeting earlier this week where you can hear directly from legislators that they did, in fact, cut funding to public education in Texas. As if our crowded classrooms and reduced resources had left us with any doubt.
Wednesday, February 29 – 6-8 p.m.
Grassroots Community Meeting and Advocacy Workshop
McGovern Stella Link Library, 7405 Stella Link
Connect with other community members, learn updates on the issue, and learn tools for effectively advocating in the community.
Sunday, March 4 – 2-4 p.m.
Family Fundraiser benefitting Texas Parent PAC
Bellaire Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Evergreen
Bring the kids for an afternoon of school carnival-like fun, frolic and fundraising so Texas Parent PAC can continue to support pro-education candidates. Since 2006, Texas Parent PAC has helped elect 23 new legislators to stand up for our kids and education.
For more information about Texas Parent PAC, or to be a sponsor, please visit texasparentpac.com
(Donors who contribute $250 or more by February 29 will be acknowledged on a banner at the event.)
If you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please email email@example.com
Monday, March 5 – 10 a.m.-noon
“Public Education: Where Things Stand and What You Can Do About It”
United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive
Learn the basics of public school finance and an updated analysis from experts on the Texas public education lawsuits.
Keynote Speakers: J.David Thompson, Partner, Thompson & Horton, LLP and Dr. Wayne Pierce, Executive Director, Equity Center
Sponsored by All Kids Alliance, CHILDREN AT RISK, Collaborative for Children, Houston A+ Challenge, One Voice Texas, Project GRAD Houston, Save Texas Schools, Stand for Children Leadership Center, and United Way of Greater Houston
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas Ed Funding is a grassroots, non-partisan collaboration of individuals creating a community of support for Texas public schools. We are not a formal organization, non-profit or PAC. (We just needed to call ourselves something to have an email address and website.) And while our initial purpose was to support the issue of funding during the crisis last spring, we have evolved to collaborate to support other efforts that affect public education in Texas. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
The claim that the Lege actually increased funding is as we know a bald-faced lie. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to hear Republicans make those claims, since it strongly suggests that they do in fact fear there may be electoral consequences for what they did. Which is why it’s important to emphasize that the $5 billion in cuts that we got would have been twice as bad if the House budget had held sway. They’re vulnerable on this and they know it.