Local school districts’ school board members, as well as leaders in the Bullard and surrounding communities will have an opportunity to learn about and discuss the upcoming session of the Texas legislature and its impact on Texas Public Education, among other topics, at the Legislative Summit event, hosted by Bullard Independent School District, to be held Thursday, Jan. 12, at Bullard Elementary School, located at 2008 Panther Crossing, in Bullard.
“It’s really important for school board members across the state to be informed on what’s going on or being contemplated down in Austin that directly affects their ability to govern their schools,” said Todd Schneider, Bullard ISD Superintendent. “There are a lot of key elements that are being discussed already, and there definitely will be more. The Legislative Summit event is a way to get them informed and hopefully get them to pay attention as the session develops and provide any of their prospective. It’s critical that they know all that’s going on.”
Several distinguished speakers will be on hand to educate attendees about the upcoming Texas legislative session at the Bullard ISD Legislative Summit event, including Dr. Charles Johnson, Executive Director of pastors for Texas Children; Dr. Mike Moses, former Commissioner of Education in Texas and former Dallas ISD Superintendent; and Dr. David Anthony, current legislative liaison and former superintendent for Cy-Fair ISD.
Both Moses and Anthony are also former executive directors for Raise Your Hand Texas, a program that focuses on identifying breakthrough ideas to improve education, piloting them in our public schools and supporting the conditions and public policies that allow them to scale to reach all Texas students.
“Dr. Johnson’s always gives a great out-of-the-school business perception on how public education serves our society and the importance of public education. He has a tremendous perspective that we look forward to him sharing with us. Both Dr. Moses and Dr. Anthony are well informed thanks to their previous roles on what goes on in the Texas legislature, deciphering between what is real and what isn’t real. There are state legislatures that call all three of these men to get advice or perception before voting.”
According to Schneider and information made available to Bullard Banner News, key topics of discussion at the Bullard ISD Legislative Summit will be the new A-F Accountability Ratings for Texas schools, public school funding, and school choice program, among other topics relevant to the upcoming legislative session.
Bullard ISD is a member of the Region 7 Education Service Center, representing a total of 95 school districts and seven charter schools. The Region 7 Education Service Area is located in East Texas, serving over 173,000 students, employing over 25,000 teachers and staff members. The majority of the schools in Region 7 are considered rural, with an average funding per student that is well below the state average; approximately 60 to 70 percent of students are deemed “economically disadvantaged.”
According to the information given to BBN, Region 7 schools have voiced their opinion in regards to the topics to be discussed at the Bullard ISD Legislative Summit event.
Region 7 schools support increasing funding for public education, citing that the state of Texas is ranked 40th in funding per student in the country, while the Texas economy ranks as one of the best in the nation. The school district s in Region 7 support raising the basic allotment per pupil between $275 and $400, as well as revenues from property growth to be utilized in an equitable manner for funding public schools.
The information also states that Region 7 school districts oppose the new A-F Accountability System for school districts, citing that the school districts support a strong accountability system that reflects the many facets of a quality 21st century education system reflecting overall student performance and not limited to the lowest performing student group based on a single state assessment.
The administration of the Region 7 schools believe that the A-F Accountability System does not provide a meaningful, accurate assessment of a student, campus, or district performance, while also believing the social and economic environment of a campus or district will have an unintended consequence on the ratings, saying that further study is necessary to design a system that adequately addresses the nature of school success and school improvement.
Likewise, the Region 7 schools are opposed to the vouchers and education savings grants currently being proposed by the Texas legislature, citing the Texas Constitution that mandates the legislature “to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools. Region 7 opposes any form or certificate directly or indirectly funded by the government in which parents can apply toward tuition at a private school or home schooling, rather than attending the state funded public school.
Schneider said that Region 7 school superintendents, as well as local legislatures, school board members, pastors, and local leaders are encouraged to attend the event.
The Bullard ISD Legislative Summit event will feature refreshments being served at 6:30 p.m., with the summit event beginning at 7 p.m. For more information about the Bullard ISD Legislative Summit, contact Bullard ISD at (903) 894-6639.