Coronavirus Demands for 2020-21
Invest in our schools
- Immediately release the $1.2 billion CARES Act School Funds earmarked to local school districts for unexpected costs due to COVID. The governor is holding the funds hostage to balance the state budget.
- Use the TX Rainy Day Fund to provide a massive influx of funding for our schools in 2020-21 to help our children and communities recover from the global Coronavirus pandemic.
- Invest in counselors, nurses and librarians in every school, tutors, smaller class size and expanded mental health services to address the physical and socio-emotional needs of students.
- Fund citywide universal free wifi starting with all public housing projects. While schooling is so much more than wifi and computer access, this crisis lays bare the huge equity connectivity divide.
- Implement a moratorium on school closures which are almost exclusively in poor neighborhoods.
Do not rate our schools
- No accountability rating should be assigned to schools for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. We know what our children need and it is not more accountability ratings. Evaluating learning based on pre-crisis measures is completely unreasonable and unfair.
Suspend STAAR testing
- To recover lost learning time, the federal government should suspend high stakes testing (STAAR in Texas.) The poor and the vulnerable have been hit hardest by this pandemic and many have limited or no access to wifi or computer devices.
Issues 2019- 2020 and on-going
Real Support for Our Schools
- Full, equitable funding & wraparound services
- Strong schools in every neighborhood
- Small class size, meaningful instruction, less STAAR
- Teachers are supported, fairly paid & their input valued.
- Address inequality and poverty outside schools
Oppose State Takeover
- Takeovers have harmed students all over the country.
- States target brown & black school districts.
- HISD has a B+ (88) rating-better than most urban ISDs.
- We elected a new school board in Nov. 2019.
- An appointed board is not accountable to voters.
Stop Endless STAAR Testing
- Don't use it to shame kids, fire teachers & close schools.
- Texas is 1 of only 11 states to require a test to graduate. While federal law requires 17 standardized tests, it is the state's decision to use standardized tests as promotion or graduation requirements. The 2021 State Legislature should end the use of STAAR as a graduation requirement.
State Legislature 2021
- Repeal HB 1842 that allows state takeovers if even one school does not meet the state accountability standard.
- End the use of STAAR as a graduation requirement.
- Establish a better school funding model than the 2019 funding formula which was inadequate because it included a property tax cap, because it did not address recapture, because it did not include a robust school finance reform plan, because it did not address funding inequalities,etc.
Sign the resolution against state takeover here.
Oppose state takeover of HISD. State takeovers make a mockery of democracy and have not improved schools when they were implemented around the country. Join a coalition of parents, students, teachers, elected officials and organizations.
Legislative Agenda 2019:
- Contact Info for House and Senate Public Education Committees here and at texastribune.org/directory/
- CVPE LEGE Summary (HB 1842, Public School Finance, Charters & STAAR) from Feb 16 Meeting [LINK to PPT]
Repeal HB 1842 (State Takeover)
- This 2015 law requires state takeover (or closure) if only 1 school does not meet the state's arbitrary bar 5 years in a row.
- There is no evidence across the country that state takeover would improve student learning. If the state takes over HISD, it will be the first time in US History that a state takes over a school district based on standardized test scores.
Public School Finance
- Clean teacher raise. Oppose tying teacher raises to STAAR performance.
- Adjust the school funding formulas to increase the state share so that we put more money into public education
- Oppose "outcome-based" school funding that ties funding to student performance. This is a "persecute the poor" plan and should be opposed in all of its forms.
- Oppose the governor's plan that caps property tax values and does not provide a source of revenue for public school funding.
- Support Robin Hood (Chapter 41) revisions to cost of education index last revised in 1992. This should positively impact property rich districts with large numbers of students in poverty and still provide a safety net for property poor school districts with large numbers of students in poverty.
- Increase the weights (adjustment above basic allotment) for students who are at risk, socio-economically disadvantaged, Sp Ed, and ELL whose cost of education is higher than the allotment.
Support a two year charter expansion moratorium.
- It’s time for the Texas Legislature to enact a two-year TIME OUT on charter school expansion so that Texas can address the financial impact of charter schools on traditional public schools and develop a thoughtful, fair, and equitable plan that ensures the future of public education for all Texas children and levels the playing field for all public schools.
High Stakes Testing
- Support HB 736 which eliminates the use of STAAR as a promotion standard in elementary and middle school grades and eliminates the use of STAAR as a graduation standard.
- Oppose the A-F School Accountability System as discriminatory against brown and black schools and schools in poverty.
- Reduce the number of standardized tests to no more than are required by the federal government and end the high stakes associated with the tests
- Support legislation that reduces the school to prison pipeline.
- Repeal HB 1842 (State Takeover)