With Texas' 89th legislative session set to start Jan. 14, school district officials across the state are sending their concerns of priority to the Texas Association of School Boards for potential adoption and inclusion in upcoming advocacy efforts.

During a May 30 workshop, Round Rock ISD trustees voted to approve a document outlining what areas of concern have been identified as priority by the board's legislative committee, made up of Place 1 trustee Chuy Zárate, board Secretary Alicia Markum and Vice President Tiffanie Harrison.

What you need to know

Trustees approved the list of priorities in a 5-2 vote, with the "no" votes coming from place 2 and 7 trustees Mary Bone and Danielle Weston. Bone and Weston expressed disagreement with some of its content, including a section advocating for additional funding.

Board President Amber Feller said the list of priorities would be sent to TASB for consideration. TASB, in addition to being a school board governance organization, also has an advocacy arm that represents member districts at the local, state and national level.

The details

The priorities submitted to TASB by the board of trustees are as follows:
  • Improving the accountability rating system
  • Increasing the basic allotment and indexing it to keep pace with inflation
  • Keeping public education funding discussions separate from discussions about education savings accounts and similar programs
  • Increasing special education funding and improving program finance
  • Increasing funding to improve hiring and retention of experienced educators
Additional information about these priorities is available here.