Public Education Champion Award



August 07, 2023  

Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR
Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Raise Your Hand Texas
[email protected], (512) 784-3805


100 Texas Legislators to Receive Inaugural Public Education Champion Award 

Austin, Texas (August 7, 2023) – Throughout the 88th Legislative Session, many Texas legislators fought for the needs of Texas’ 5.4 million public school students and made decisions that were the very best for their communities and their schools. Raise Your Hand Texas is honoring the 100 Texas legislators who stood out for their outstanding achievement and steadfast commitment to public education with the inaugural Raise Your Hand Texas Public Education Champion Award.

“When legislators are willing to go above and beyond for their public schools and the students and teachers in their local community they need to be recognized for their efforts,” said Dr. Michelle Smith, executive director at Raise Your Hand Texas. “Our Public Education Champion Award honors that steadfast commitment to the legislators’ local community when making decisions at our Texas Capitol.”

“While out-of-state interests tried to convince some Texas elected officials that vouchers should be their number one priority for education this session, these awardees remained steadfastly opposed, displaying courage and conviction to stand strong for local community public schools,” added Smith. “Saying no to vouchers, which would funnel taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private schools and vendors, is fundamental to protecting and preserving public schools that are committed to each and every student.”

In selecting Public Education Champion Award recipients, Raise Your Hand Texas reviewed legislation and votes during the 88th Legislative Session and identified 100 legislators who exemplified strong, courageous support for public schools, teachers, and students.

The 100 Legislators represent both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate, as well as rural and urban communities across Texas. For a full list and more information about each awardee, visit the Public Education Champion Awards page.

Standing Against Vouchers 

The Texas Legislature has rejected school vouchers for decades. Yet, Governor Greg Abbott has pledged to call another Special Session later this fall to attempt to pass school vouchers.

Texans express a deep, broad-based support for their public schools. According to Charles Butt Foundation polling, the majority of Texas parents are satisfied with their child’s public school and would choose it again given other options.

  • 89% of Texas public school parents are satisfied with the quality of education their child is receiving.
  • 82% of public school parents would keep their child in their current public school, if given other public school choice options.
  • When asked about school vouchers, a majority of Texans, 54%, oppose them.

Recent research on our country’s longest and largest voucher programs shows little to no improvement in student test scores or academic achievement over time, as well as a negative impact on college enrollment and completion rates for disadvantaged students.

With Texas more than $4,000 behind the national average in per-pupil funding and almost $7,500 behind the national average in teacher pay, Raise Your Hand Texas and our education champions understand the importance of investing in our public schools, teachers, and students, not diverting more money from them.

“Right now, Texas public education leaders and legislators are fighting political forces and well-funded out-of-state organizations from across the United States that want to reshape public education with little or no accountability and transparency and a poor track record of performance in other states with voucher programs. These 100 legislators are doing the most for their communities and public schools,” said Smith.

# # # 


About Raise Your Hand Texas

Raise Your Hand Texas is a non-partisan nonprofit organization supporting public policy solutions that invest in Texas’ 5.4 million public school students, encourage innovation and autonomy, and improve college 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, alongside current research, informs the policy recommendations we make to Texas lawmakers. For more information, visit

Connect with us on Twitter: @RYHTexas 

Connect with us on Facebook: /RaiseYourHandTexas 

Connect with us on LinkedIn: /raise-your-hand-texas

related content


subscribe & make
a difference

Subscribe to our e-newsletter for Texas education news, stories, policy insights, and ways to make a difference. We only use this information to send emails relevant to you and will never share this information with third parties.

Address (Required)(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.