NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Make education a top priority--that’s the message an advocacy group wants to send to state lawmakers. The message will be relayed through 50 town hall meetings statewide, including East Texas.
“The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation” is focusing on three key education issues, according to Dr. Keri Launius, the East Texas advocacy regional director.
“COVID response, school finance and funding, and assessment and accountability, the A through F system in Texas,” Launius said.
Representative Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches will be on the listening side.
To COVID-19, he’s wanting the state to learn from the challenges virtual learning is presenting.
“I’m hoping we don’t have some sort of long-term fallout or this cohort of students in these critical years are going to be set back in their educational development,” Clardy said.
Educators do not want redistricting and the state budget to cause school finance to get lost in the mix. Clardy says that won’t happen due to the passage of the sweeping and historic school finance bill, House Bill 3.
“We’re committed to make sure that doesn’t come apart after one session,” Clardy said. “There’s going to a real tug of war where the money is going to come from, but I do not doubt there is going to be a strong majority from both chambers to make sure we honor the commitment we made last time.”
Clardy believes schools should not be given an accountability grade in 2020, but agrees with some educators that the STAAR test is useful for student assessment.
Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation primarily wants legislators to know what their district is expecting, an exchange Clardy says he welcomes.
“I’m more interested in what they can tell me,” Clardy said. “We’ve been getting good feedback from the parents, but I want to hear from the educators on how they think this is going.”
The “For the Future” House District 11 town hall on public education’ is on Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to noon at The Fredonia Hotel. It’s a hybrid event. Pre-selected 25 guests can attend the event. The town hall will be broadcast on Facebook live. https://www.facebook.com/RaiseYourHandTexas Future events of its kind will be in Palestine and Livingston.