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The 86th Legislative Session will be critical for strengthening public education in Texas. Here is where you will find our latest and greatest advocacy tools, including graphics and reports we encourage everyone to use and share. Bookmark this page and check it often. Let’s act now for the future of our schools, students, and the state of Texas!

2019 Public Education Perceptions Poll

New Raise Your Hand Texas Poll Reveals Texans’ Perceptions About Public Education

Media coverage and political rhetoric surrounding the need to focus on education issues has ramped up over the last year. But are Texans in agreement? What do they think needs the most immediate attention? And who do they think is responsible for addressing the issues they care most about?

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In the poll, conducted in January 2019 by Outreach Strategists, Texans say education is the most important issue for this legislative session, with more funding, higher teacher pay, and reduced focus on high-stakes testing ranking as the top interests. More than 70 percent say not enough money is being spent on education in Texas and 78 percent oppose increases in funding tied to student performance on state standardized tests. The overwhelming majority of Texans also believe pre-K is important to ensuring school readiness and leveling the playing field, and that the state, not local communities, should fund full-day pre-K for at-risk students.

Invest More in Texas Public Schools

School Funding Checklist

Now is the time to invest in our future. To strengthen public education for all 5.3 million Texas students, we need significant increases to fund proven programs. Funding schools better comes down to five things.

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Our explainer video shows how we fund Texas schools and how the current system is not serving students or taxpayers. Understanding how public schools are funded is the first step to strengthening our investment in Texas students.

There was a wave, and it was pro-public education / The 2018 midterm elections resulted in a pro-public education wave, and we at Raise Your Hand Texas are encouraged by the significant number of new legislators who made it clear on the campaign trail that their top priority is ensuring all 5.4 million Texas students have what they need to be successful in school and beyond.

In the most recent Texas 2018 Quality Counts report, Texas’ school finance system barely escaped a failing score, receiving a D+ and ranking 41st for its financial commitment to public education. The state did hit rock bottom with an F for public school spending, ranking 43rd.

The school finance system is broken and no longer meets the state’s growing demands. Additional investment is needed now so our public schools have the resources to prepare all students for college and career opportunities.

Fund Pre-K the Right Way

Greatness Starts in Pre-K Video

From scales to symphonies. From counting to calculus. The seeds of greatness are planted early. High-quality, full-day pre-K provides an environment where the seeds of greatness can take root. Where talent, innovation, ingenuity, and critical thinking are nurtured and developed.

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Despite overwhelming research that full-day pre-k paves the way for student success, the state’s lack of full-day funding and inconsistent support has short-changed an early learning foundation for kids who need it most. It’s time to fund pre-K the right way.

Prevent School Vouchers

Vouchers reduce fair access to educational opportunity, weaken rights for students with disabilities, and expose taxpayers to fraud. Only district and charter schools can deliver on the promise of quality school choice with both transparency and accountability in the use of public dollars.

LOSS OF RIGHTS IN THE NAME OF CHOICE:

The Dangers of Special Education Vouchers

There exists a national political effort to promote traditional vouchers, Education Savings Account (ESA) vouchers, and tax credit scholarship vouchers in the name of assisting students with disabilities. While promoted as a solution for families dissatisfied with services in the public school system, in reality, special education vouchers are employed as a political gateway to universal vouchers.

Vouchers for students with special needs represent a dangerous proposition that can lead to a loss of rights and quality educational opportunities.

First, Mr. Voucher tried to convince Texans that that Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), tax credit scholarships, and other voucher schemes are good, but instead ended up being schooled about how vouchers hurt Texas students, schools, and taxpayers. Next, he tried to convince Texans that any and all choice is good for students, and again was schooled about the importance of quality school choice–choice with transparency and accountability–when public dollars are used. In the third installment, a new monster voucher arrived on the scene – FrankenVoucher – and he was twice as devastating.

Research shows school vouchers do not deliver improved outcomes or educational innovation. Vouchers lack transparency in the use of taxpayer dollars and public accountability for educational outcomes.

Other Critical Issues

To serve the diverse and ever-changing needs of students and to support a strong future workforce, districts need freedom from unnecessary state mandates to innovate and collaborate.

The effective use of technology in Texas public schools has the potential to transform teaching and learning, and improve student achievement. Blended learning is personalized, data driven, and encourages student ownership of their learning.

To meet the growing needs of our student population, Texas must recruit diverse and high-achieving students into quality teacher preparation programs. Effective recruitment requires transparent and accessible data that identifies quality within the 131 teacher preparation programs in Texas.

Dual credit courses provide students an efficient and proven path toward career and college, with benefits for families, employers, and ultimately our entire state. We need a process that allows students and families to better understand and benefit from these programs.

Full-time virtual education relies on technology, but does not provide students quality interactions with teachers and the school environment. The poor performance of some full-time virtual education programs demonstrates it is not always an effective approach to digital learning.

Interactive Maps

District Partnership Agreements allow school districts to partner with nonprofit corporations, governmental bodies and institutions of higher education (including those holding state charters) to operate a district campus and receive the higher charter-level funding for district students.

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation is reinventing public education from the inside, for the future, by developing and strengthening school leaders and teachers, engaging families in the educational experience, and advancing classroom learning with innovative instructional practices to benefit all students.