The Leander ISD board of trustees discussed the issues they’d like the Texas Association of School Boards, or TASB, to advocate for in the upcoming legislative session at a May 9 meeting.

Proposed advocacy resolutions include building the teacher workforce, maintaining local control of districts and reinstating a cost of education index in the state funding formula, board member Trish Bode said.

The overview

The district is advocating for an apprenticeship program that would “address the workforce shortage and create a pipeline of experienced teachers” while helping districts address unfinished learning from the coronavirus pandemic, according to district documents. The program would expand upon Grow Your Own initiatives in which districts assist staff members in gaining their teaching credentials.

The district’s second resolution opposes the Texas Education Agency escalating “from a monitor or conservator to a state takeover” through forming a board of managers. The state should add transparency around those measures, hold the TEA accountable to the community and return local governance back to a board of trustees as soon as possible, the resolution states.

This resolution comes as the TEA took over Houston ISD with a state-appointed board of managers in June and implemented a state-appointed monitor over special education in Austin ISD in September.

Additionally, the district is asking the state to reinstate the cost of education index into its funding formula after removing it through House Bill 3 in 2019. The index—which adjusted for differences in cost of living and geographical competition—should be updated instead of removed, according to the resolution.

In their own words

“This is something we’re sending to TASB knowing they’re already working on the bigger picture,” Bode said. “These are those pinpoint, ... targeted issues that don’t always make it into the larger-scale priorities but that we, as a district, still feel are important.”

The TASB advocacy resolutions are separate from the district’s priorities for the 2025 legislative session, which the board’s legislative committee is still developing, she said.

What’s next?

The board will vote on whether to adopt the proposed resolutions at its next meeting on May 23, Bode said.