GIANT THREE-LEGGED STOOL APPEARS AT TEXAS CAPITOL WITH IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR STATE LEGISLATORS

April 6, 2021 |

CONTACT:
Tessa Benavides, Media Relations Associate
[email protected]
(210) 445-3965

Money intended for public education must stay in public education

AUSTIN, TX (Tuesday, April 6) – Early this morning, a six-foot tall, three-legged stool appeared inside the Texas State Capitol building with a simple but important message: Fund TxEd Recovery.

The giant three-legged stool was put there by Raise Your Hand Texas, a public education advocacy organization that wants to remind legislators to ensure public schools receive the support they need throughout the pandemic by supporting all three legs of the school funding stool. Texas must maintain its commitments to increased school funding made in 2019, hold schools harmless for pandemic-related enrollment declines, and — and this is the most important — ensure $17.9 billion in federal stimulus funding goes to our schools.

During two events hosted today (Tuesday, April 6) the organizations will further discuss the significance of the third leg of the stool: keeping federal stimulus dollars intended for public education in public education:

  • A virtual press conference at 11 a.m. featuring former House Speaker Joe Straus, Pasadena ISD Superintendent DeeAnn Powell, North Texas Commission president Chris Wallace, and 12th grade student Denali Jah, who will discuss the importance of ensuring all three legs of the school funding stool are supported. These are the details for the virtual press conference:
  •  A live event in front of the south gates of the Texas Capitol at 12:30 p.m. will feature several performances from Austin-area public school students. For a live stream of the event visit https://www.facebook.com/RaiseYourHandTexas/.

“Imagine our schools serving students while trying to balance atop a two-legged stools,” said Raise Your Hand Texas Director of Advocacy Libby Cohen. “That’s essentially what we are asking districts to do right now. At this critical juncture, legislators must act to support schools with the federal resources they’re due. Each leg of the stool is vital to our public schools’ stability, viability, and future.”

Recently the federal government released two-thirds of the money designated for elementary and secondary education by the American Rescue Plan to states, including $8.1 billion for Texas . This is the third round of federal stimulus dollars allocated for public schools; however Texas school districts have yet to see any additional funding.

Texas initially received $1.3 billion in stimulus funding in the spring of 2020. But state leaders supplanted that money (meaning they swapped out state funding for federal funding), effectively using those dollars to fill other budget holes. Now, the second and third rounds of federal stimulus money (totaling $17.9 billion) are awaiting dispersal.

“State legislators need to do their part to ensure federal dollars intended for our public schools actually get to our schools so that our students can get the help they need to get back on track after the pandemic” said Cohen.

To help highlight the need for state legislators to act now, Raise Your Hand also delivered small three-legged stools to legislators this morning.

To learn more about the three legs of school funding, and find a digital press kit including downloadable video footage and photos of the three-legged stool, visit. www.RaiseYourHandTexas.org/FundTxEdRecovery.

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ABOUT THE RAISE YOUR HAND TEXAS FOUNDATION

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation develops and strengthens school leaders and teachers, engages families in the educational experience, and advances classroom learning with innovative instructional practices to benefit all students. For more information, visit RYHTFoundation.org.

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