Three-Legged Stool: A Strong Texas Recovery Requires Three Sturdy Legs

Case Study

(87th Regular Session, 2021)

Bob Popinski Three Legged Stool Day Photo

The Issue

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Raise Your Hand Texas reminded lawmakers that a strong Texas recovery requires a strong public-school recovery.

The federal government provided billions in Covid-19 relief funding to public schools across the country. Texas initially received $1.3 billion in federal stimulus funding for our schools in the spring of 2020. However, our schools did not see any additional money because Texas diverted these funds to fill other state budget holes. As the Legislative Session began in 2021, $17.9 billion in federal funds promised to our schools hung in the balance. We clarified that the state should not use federal stimulus dollars meant for education to fill other holes in the state budget.

And, just like a steady stool needs three strong legs, our schools needed Texas leadership to follow through on three simple commitments for a robust public school recovery: fully fund House Bill 3; fully support enrollment declines due to Covid-19, and fully flow federal stimulus funding to public schools.

How We Delivered

Our work at the Capitol to secure the three legs of our stool required a full-court press and innovative communications considering the challenges posed by Covid-19 that limited large gatherings and shifted many of the traditional legislative activities to hybrid and online formats.

We rallied public education advocates, local school districts, our own RYHT regional advocacy directors, students, and parents to make a case for investing in the three critical components of a Texas public education recovery from Covid-19.

We brought a giant six-foot stool to the Texas Capitol to make our message clear to lawmakers: #FundTxEdRecovery. Schools need the last “leg” of funding, the $17.9 billion federal stimulus funds, to recover from the pandemic fully.

Our #FundTxEdRecovery campaign ensured a solid foundation for continued recovery from the pandemic.

Highlights from our campaign

Media coverage

Press conference

Social media campaign (#FundTxEdRecovery)

Capitol Visits with Miniature Stools

By the numbers

  • Total calls made, and emails sent by advocates were 43,110 vs. 8,277 in 2019
  • 16 organizations participated in 3-Legged Stool Day at the Capitol
  • 300 miniature 3-legged stools delivered to lawmakers
  • One giant six-foot-tall 3-legged stool displayed at the State Capitol
  • Nine three-legged stool pop-up media and advocacy events across the state

Watch students take the Three-Legged Stool Test

Watch our Three-Legged Stool Day highlight reel.


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