Policy

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Raise Your Hand Texas believes through equity and innovation we can create a world-class school system that fuels a brighter future for all Texans.

Where We Stand document

Where We Stand

We have established seven core policy priorities — our true north — that guide our long-term work strengthening and supporting public schools in Texas.

2021 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

In addition to funding issues, many of Raise Your Hand’s core policy priorities were addressed during the 87th Legislative Session. Take a look at our work this session.

Raise Your Voice

The Future of Testing and
School Accountability in Texas

Vouchers: Public Dollars Must Remain in Public Schools

Only public schools, which educate 90% of students in Texas, can effectively and efficiently meet the state’s demands for a well-prepared workforce and well-informed citizenry.

Vouchers divert scarce public education funds to private schools, which are not required to comply with federal protections for students with disabilities or report and track spending and student performance.
voucher comparison chart district vs private schools

We support keeping education tax dollars in public schools and investing in quality public school choice and innovative programs.

2023 Voucher one pager legislative priorities

Vouchers reduce equitable access to educational opportunity, weaken rights for students with disabilities, and expose taxpayers to fraud. The Legislature should reject any type of voucher.

voucher_myth-&-fact

What they don’t tell you is vouchers harm the schools that serve most Texas students by diverting money to private vendors without transparency and accountability for results. It’s time to review the research, set the record straight, and look at some of the real myths and facts about school vouchers.

School Funding: Money Matters in Education

A high-quality and well-funded public education system is essential to help every child to reach their full potential.

Texas ranks in the bottom 10 states in per-student funding, coming in at 42nd.
Texas Ranks in the Bottom 10 in Per-Pupil Spending

We support an equitable school finance system that, at the very least, funds Texas students at the national average.

School Funding Legislative policy brief

The $19 billion Texas public schools received in federal stimulus funds expire in 2024, and our current school finance formulas are not flexible enough to meet the ongoing instructional demands or inflationary cost pressures. Texas lawmakers will have a substantial amount of funding this legislative session – over $27 billion in additional general revenue and over $13.6 billion in our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Investing in public school students should be a priority every session, because the future of Texas depends on well-funded public schools.

Federal Stimulus Dollars

The state should not use federal stimulus dollars that were meant for education to fill other holes in the state budget.

Teacher Workforce: Teachers Make the Difference

The quality of our education system and the long-term viability of our economy are inextricably linked to the effectiveness and diversity of our teachers.

Inadequate pay, lack of respect, and stressful work conditions are pushing teachers out of the profession and attracting fewer new teachers into the field. Compounding this challenge are the needs for better teacher preparation and less reliance on alternative certification programs.
77% of Texas teachers have seriously considered leaving

We support enhancing teaching as a career, attracting and preparing a strong teacher workforce, and retaining quality educators in the field.

Teacher Workforce policy brief

Whether it’s serving as the inspirational spark, the content expert, the compassionate ally, or the patient listener, Texas teachers are the heart of our state’s public education system. Effective teachers guide our students’ academic growth as well as their physical, social, and emotional well-being. For this reason, improving recruitment, development, and retention of our most promising and dedicated teachers must be a top priority.

Texas Teacher Workforce Report

In order to study and ultimately help strengthen and improve how our state recruits, develops, and retains teachers, Raise Your Hand Texas commissioned the University of Houston College of Education to prepare a comprehensive longitudinal analysis of Texas’ teacher workforce.

Whole Child: Serving the Whole Child Promotes Learning

Every Texas student needs a safe and healthy educational environment in order to meet their full academic potential.

Texas is ranked 45th in overall child well-being, including indicators related to economic well-being, education, health, and certain family and community traits.
45th place

We support meeting the needs of individual students through equitable and high-quality pre-Kindergarten, mental wellness services, and wraparound supports.

2023 Legislative Priorities

Public education is always on the agenda for the state legislature. Improving where Texas ranks in overall child well-being should always be a goal each session.

Pre-K in Texas

Raise Your Hand Texas believes all children, regardless of family background, deserve a fair shot at success in school and in life. Full-day, quality pre-k gives them that opportunity.

Blended Learning

Blended learning combines the best of classroom teaching and online learning. Teachers use data and classroom technology to personalize instruction for every student.

One Pager Blended Learning

Testing and Accountability: Student Growth and Performance Should Be Measured Fairly

Texas public schools should be held to appropriate standards of quality by a comprehensive accountability system that accurately reflects academic performance and other measures of student progress.

The state’s accountability (A-F) system is disproportionately based on a single end-of-year test that does not adequately consider a student’s academic growth. Additionally, it is the only measure of accountability ratings in grades 3-8.
STARR one day one test

We support real-time assessments that inform instruction, measure individual progress, and serve as one of multiple measures reflecting a student’s entire educational experience.

2023 Legislative Priorities

Coming in October!

Our public schools are being asked to do more than ever, but our A-F rating system is primarily based on one test given on one day. In grades 3-8, the STAAR is the only measure used in determining district and campus grades. These grades ignore other essential indicators of quality education like extracurricular activities, health and safety issues, and community, family and student engagement.

Charters: Texas Communities Deserve an Equal Playing Field

Charter schools and traditional schools should be held to the same high standards while serving all students within their communities.

Charter schools offer the opportunity to foster innovation in public education, especially for our most at-risk students. However, rapid expansion of charter schools is creating tax inefficiencies, unequal access for students, and a parallel system of publicly funded schools.
Vouchers vs. School Districts

We support equitable funding, expansion and accountability policies that require all publicly funded schools to equally serve every student in their communities.

2023 Legislative Priorities

Public education is always on the agenda for the state legislature. It is time to level the playing field between public schools and public charters when it comes to per-pupil funding.

SB 1882 District Partnership Map

This map shows the average per-student increase a district would receive if it were funded like a charter school, including student and program weights.

1882-map

Charter Campuses in Texas

The charter expansion map tracks the growth of charter schools in Texas from 1997 through 2019.

Growth of charter campuses in Texas map
New Charter School Testimony

Future Workforce: Prepared Students Ensure a Brighter Future For Our State

Texans deserve a public school system that creates a highly skilled workforce capable of meeting tomorrow’s challenges.

Less than half of Texans ages 25-34 hold a postsecondary certificate or degree. Texas is struggling to keep pace with 21st century workforce demands. Texas cannot rely solely on importing talent from other states.
Future Workforce

We support pathways that ensure every student is on track for college, career, or military readiness.

2023 Legislative Priorities

Public education is always on the agenda for the state legislature. This session we must continue our work to ensure Texas’ public schools are providing students with an education that prepares them for the jobs of the future.

@RYHTexas

During trying times, Texans are building a stronger future for our kids.