About Us

About Us

Raise Your Hand Texas supports public policy solutions that invest in our students, encourage innovation and autonomy, and improve college, military, and workforce readiness.

Our mission is to educate, engage, and activate Texans through public education policy and advocacy. 

In 2006, Charles Butt and a group of Texas business and community leaders founded Raise Your Hand Texas with the belief that all Texas children should have equal access to high-quality education. Raise Your Hand Texas supports public policy solutions that invest in our students, encourage innovation and autonomy, and improve college, military, and workforce readiness.

Our statewide advocacy team works in communities throughout the state to raise the voices of parents, teachers, community leaders, business owners, and students who care about the future of public education. Our advocacy work and your voices, alongside current research, inform the policy recommendations we make to Texas lawmakers.


Our History

In 2006, Charles Butt and a group of engaged citizens founded Raise Your Hand with a belief that public dollars should stay in public schools. At the time, the group recognized that Texas public education, an essential investment offered to all Texas families and their children, was under attack by those who sought to dismantle this constitutionally guaranteed public good.

Where We Stand Today: Seven Policy Priorities

Today, Raise Your Hand Texas continues to fight for Texans’ right to a free, high-quality public school experience for every child. To support this, we have established seven core policy priorities that guide our long-term work across Texas and at the Texas Capitol, strengthening and supporting public schools in Texas.


Where We Stand Fold Up RYHT

Seven Core Policy Priorities for Raise Your Hand Texas

  1. Public Dollars Must Remain in Public Schools
  2. Money Matters in Education
  3. Teachers Make the Difference
  4. Serving the Whole Child Promotes Learning
  5. Student Growth and Performance Should Be Measured Fairly
  6. Texas Families Deserve an Equal Playing Field
  7. Prepared Students Ensure a Brighter Future for Our State

Our current legislative policy recommendations are focused on teacher workforce and retention issues, school funding, assessment and accountability initiatives, and standing against school vouchers.

2023 Voucher one pager legislative priorities

In the 88th Texas Legislative Session, we will look to:

  • Stand against vouchers of any kind;
  • Increase the state’s overall investment in our public school students and in public education programs, including creating an increase to the basic allotment – the building block for per-student funding in Texas;
  • Recommend the removal of all high-stakes testing consequences for students, and also expand the scope of Texas’ A-F accountability ratings system to include factors beyond STAAR test scores; and,
  • Support teacher retention through increased compensation and benefits packages, adequate administrative support, and sustainable work environments, while also investing in teacher recruitment strategies, including scholarships for aspiring teachers.

For a full overview of our 88th Texas Legislative Session Policy Recommendations, visit the Resources section of our website.

Statewide Advocacy

In communities across Texas, we hold listening circles, candidate forums and town hall meetings, engage with school districts, and encourage Texans to become advocates for public education. In addition to our advocacy work throughout Texas, we have two flagship programs that foster advocacy and increase competencies around the Texas legislative process. Principals step forward to participate in our Principal Advocacy Fellows program. They are all alumni of Charles Butt Foundation (formerly Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation) programs, ready to continue their advocacy journey.

Principal Advocacy Fellows apply and are chosen to continue to grow as community leaders and advocates on behalf of public schools in Texas. Over the course of nine months, fellowship recipients learn concrete advocacy skills, expand their education policy knowledge, and get directly involved in electoral and legislative advocacy. Our first cohort graduated in 2019, and in January 2023 we will begin work with our third cohort of Principal Advocacy Fellows.

Launched in January 2022, our Trustee Advocates Program gives Texas school boards and their superintendents the tools they need to find, use, and amplify their voices and the voices of their communities to influence state education policy. The first cohort of eight school districts is set to complete their training in June 2023; all who complete the course will earn the designation of master advocate.


Our Impact

Our efforts to strengthen Texas’ pro-public education focus have resulted in lasting changes for Texas families. In 2019, we led the way to fund full-day Pre-K for eligible students across Texas. In 2021, we worked across the aisle to pass school finance HB3 which provides more money for Texas classrooms, increases in teacher compensation, a reduction in recapture, and a cut in property taxes for Texans.

Learn More About Our Impact in Texas


Our Approach to Working in Texas Public Education

Raise Your Hand Texas approaches all of this vital work with five values in mind: integrity, democracy, courage, equity, and pragmatism.

  • Integrity: We approach every conversation with unwavering honesty and respect. We recognize the current challenges faced by our school communities, the people who lead them, and the elected and appointed officials who craft policy. We seek to serve as an essential resource to all involved in school improvement.
  • Democracy:  We believe in government of the people, by the people, for the people. A robust democracy is led by duly elected leaders and is responsive to the input, needs, and aspirations of the community it serves. This means democracy is a hands-on process for all of us, and we seek to constantly bring more hands to that work.
  • Courage: We work on behalf of all Texas students, even in the face of criticism and uncertainty. We will not back away from an insistence on a high-quality education for every child.
  • Equity: We advocate for every student to be treated with kindness and respect, free from racism, classism, and other forms of exclusion, and to receive the specific resources required to find success during their PK-12 education and beyond.
  • Pragmatism: We approach each challenge knowing that our work is complex, progress is incremental, decisions are rarely clear-cut, and winning is sometimes hard to define. Our desire to improve the lives of all public school students causes us to press onward with determination and humility.


Join Us

We are right #AcrossTheLawn from the Capitol. If you want to stay in touch with us, please sign up for our Across the Lawn Newsletter or be added to our Across the Lawn Events List. If you want to join us in making an impact #InTheBuilding, then please reach out to your Regional Advocacy Director who will connect you to our advocacy efforts.

Improving public education begins with you. We are here to make sure you understand the issues before voting, and ensure your voice is heard in your corner of Texas and up at the Capitol.

The future prosperity of our state hinges on the success of every public school, school leader, educator, and child. Join us and let your voice be heard…because the future of Texas is in our public schools.

Get Involved Today


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