El Paso, we stand by you

Last winter we captured this photo on a site visit to El Paso. This cross sits at the top of the Franklin Mountains overlooking the city.  To us it represents the strength and beauty of this community. 

Dear friends, colleagues, and alumni in El Paso: 

This should be a time of celebration as families and communities prepare for a new school year. Instead, as parents and students were back-to-school shopping in El Paso, the unthinkable happened, again. Dozens killed and injured. Hundreds, likely thousands, of lives changed forever.  

We have worked closely with many educators and schools in El Paso, and our hearts break for this beautiful city. The start of the school year will be challenging for students, teachers, and families. But we know El Paso educators are strong and will band together to support their communities in this time of tragedy. 

The safety and care of our students are necessary components of a high quality education. When horrors like this happen in our state and our country, our schools increasingly bear responsibility for providing emotional support and counseling to their scarred communities. Educators continuously rise to these challenges, but they should not have to shoulder the burden alone.  

Let’s lend El Paso a helping hand. If you can, please consider donating to any of the following fundraisers, or consider participating in the #ElPasoChallenge, a campaign developed by Ruben Martinez, a local sixth-grade student. Ruben’s goal is to inspire individuals to perform 22 acts of kindness in honor of those killed. We believe Ruben’s initiative is a testament to the strength of this community.

El Paso, we stand by you.  #ElPasoStrong

Ways to help:

For our friends in El Paso, please take care of yourself. If you need support here are a few resources you can consider using.

Support Services:

  • Student’s Presentation Surprises Her First-Year Teacher

    While most students were choosing familiar figures such as Frida Kahlo, Cesar Chavez, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor as subjects for Hispanic Heritage month presentations, one fourth-grade student in McAllen ISD honored her own teacher — Raquel Pérez.

    Read More

  • Capitol-Grounds-Image

    Capitol Update: October 7, 2019

    The Capitol Update provides you with expert insight and analysis on legislative issues impacting Texas public school students and educators. In this month’s edition, our policy experts report on the conversations they heard at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival.

    Read More

  • John-Merrow

    Voices on Teaching: John Merrow

    Everyone had a teacher — whether they realized it or not — who changed their life. John Merrow is an accomplished broadcast journalist who has spent over 40 years covering education for PBS and NPR. And he still credits his high school English teacher, Mr. Sullivan, for his success today.

    Read More

  • Raise Your Hand Texas Celebrates Full-Day Pre-K

    For more than a dozen years, our organization, along with many other business and education groups across the state, called for investment in high-quality, full-day pre-K for students who need it most. Legislators deserve a special recognition this session for funding full-day pre-K for our youngest at-risk learners. As a result, school districts are already enthusiastically transitioning to full-day programs. 

    Read More

  • Michael-Bonner-Charles-Butt-Symposium

    Voices on Teaching: Michael Bonner

    Mr. Bonner was featured on Ellen, has written and published a book on teaching, and is a sought-after speaker. Check out this Voices on Teaching interview to learn why he believes so much in the power and potential of teaching to create a ripple effect that lasts for generations. 

    Read More

  • 86th-session-checklist

    2019 Session Wrap-Up

    This past legislative session, we developed a list of priorities based on what our programs, objective research, and Texans said would improve public schools. We are happy to report it was a good session for the issues we believed would benefit Texas students and our state. Here’s a run-down of how our priorities fared during the session.

    Read More

  • Voices on Teaching: Linda Ascencio

    Linda Ascencio, a fourth-grade teacher at Sanchez Elementary School, had a student who challenged her throughout the year. It seemed as if he was always getting in trouble and being sent to the office. However, she made an effort to know this student and his background. Through her efforts, she was able to gain his trust. Now, he is one of the students she misses the most.

    Read More

  • Shea-Culpepper-Voices-on-Teaching

    Voices on Teaching: Shea Culpepper

    Shea Culpepper, a clinical director and professor of teacher education at the University of Houston, believes teachers have the awesome task of preparing students for a future that does not exist yet.

    Read More