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Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations El Paso, Texas November 21, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations El Paso, Texas November 21, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations El Paso, Texas November 21, 2013

2 Tweet @JenEsterlineTX #txlege #tegactx

3 Overview Origins and Goals of Consortium Legislative Update on Top Foundation Concerns April 2013 Foundation Survey Results Strategic Plan and Timeline for Interim Period Audience Questions and Answers

4 Foundations at the Capitol: 2013 (and Beyond)

5 What is “The Consortium”? FOR Foundations. BY Foundations. Education focus. Formed in 2011 in response to $5.4 billion in cuts to Texas public schools by the 82 nd Texas Legislature. Members come from all over Texas and include private, corporate, and community foundations. Geographical diversity ensures policy diversity. 24 Texas foundations are currently paid members. Membership requires a minimum contribution of at least $5000 per calendar year with opportunities to pool additional resources with other foundations. This is a “campaign” NOT a new nonprofit. And yes nobody has ever tried this before in Texas. (Gulp…)

6 2013 Consortium Members Amarillo Area Foundation (Amarillo) Andy Roddick Foundation (Austin) Beau and Kathryn Ross Foundation (Austin) Bernard and Audre Rapoport Foundation (Waco) Dallas Foundation (Dallas) Ewing – Halsell Foundation (San Antonio) Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation (San Antonio) George W. Brackenridge Foundation (San Antonio) KDK-Harman Foundation (Austin) Laura and John Arnold Foundation (Houston) Meadows Foundation (Dallas) MR and Evelyn Hudson Foundation (Dallas) Powell Foundation (Houston) RGK Foundation (Austin) San Antonio Area Foundation (San Antonio) Sid Richardson Foundation (Ft. Worth) Simmons Foundation (Houston) Still Water Foundation (Austin) Tapestry Foundation (Austin) Trull Foundation (Palacios) United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (Dallas) Webber Family Foundation (Austin) Wright Family Foundation (Austin)

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8 Consortium Timeline February 2011: First Consortium Capitol Day Summer 2011: Creation of Advisory Board September 2011: Education Foundation Survey January 2012: TEGAC Strategic Plan Approved Spring 2012: Selected Budget Research Partner Summer 2012: Statewide Consortium Outreach October 2012: Preliminary Budget Research Findings January 2013: Final Budget Research Findings February 2013: Second Consortium Capitol Day March 2013: Education Foundation Survey April – Nov. 2013: Follow Up Fridays in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Gulf Coast, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, and Far West Texas.

9 What is the Consortium’s Purpose? The Consortium was designed to: Create a common voice for foundations partnering with public schools and school districts in Texas Provide leadership on research and policy reform Promote program accountability and a focus on a positive return on public and private money Restore the role of philanthropy as a funder of innovation, not just replacer of state cuts Example: In months before 2013 Texas Legislature, Consortium members pooled funding to support Children at Risk to conduct a budget cut impact study.

10 Children at Risk Budget Cut Study

11 Children at Risk Budget Cut Study Texas Legislature and Education Agency not interested in assessing the damage and examining lessons learned. Consortium stepped in to fill gap of information about the impact of $5.4 billion in cuts to schools Program cuts included:  Full-Day and Quality Pre-Kindergarten  Summer School  Guidance Counseling and Social Worker  Libraries and Librarians  Health Services  Tutoring Increase in class sizes from pre-k through high school Many cuts directly impacted foundations’ long-standing partnerships with the state, including successful efforts like Communities In Schools and AVID.

12 400 ISDs participated in Budget Cut Impact Research Project

13 Surveyed 65% of the Student Population in Texas

14 El Paso ISD and the 2011 Budget Cuts How much were El Paso ISD schools cut in 2011?  Lost Base Revenue $24,118,146  Lost Base Revenue $14,152,270 What was cut from El Paso ISD as a result?  Library Services  Teacher and Staff Prof. Dev.  Athletics  Social Work and Guidance Counseling Services  Student Support and Interventions BUT… Good news from Austin in 2013

15 Oh what a difference two years make… 2011: Huge Budget Hole of $27 Billion 2013: Where did all this money come from? 2011: No Use of Rainy Day Fund 2013: Where’s my umbrella? 2011: We didn’t cut public schools. 2013: Save our schools! Restore the cuts! 2011: We don’t need your federal money! 2013: We don’t need your federal money!

16 The Kumbaya Oil and Gas Session Huge freshman class in House and high number of new Senators created high expectations for rancor. Generally positive session thanks to energy boom, growth of Rainy Day Fund, and Purple Thursdays. Instead of sweeping the big issues under the water, leadership used the generally positive tone to address BIG issues like water and education cuts Special Sessions have been anything but kumbaya with the addition of hot button issues like re- districting and abortion to the “Call”.

17 Education Budget $3.4 billion of the $4 billion cut in 2011 from the Foundation School Program (core school funding) was restored. Minimal restoration to discretionary grant programs. Good news, but NOT full restoration. For example, Dallas ISD will receive roughly an additional $37 million in 2014 and $50 million in With a student population of more than 200,000, per student spending increases by roughly $300 per student. Some school budget deferrals corrected, meaning the buck will not be passed along to the 2015 legislature. Not everything was restored:  “Expansion Grants” for pre-k programs restored only $30 million, after cutting $200 million last time.  Tens of millions in public private partnership funds were cut.  School populations continue to grow, as does poverty.

18 HB 5: Curriculum and Testing High school students would take a foundation curriculum of four English credits; three science, social studies and math credits; two foreign language credits; one fine art and one P.E. credit; and five elective credits. They would add a fourth science and math credit when they select one of five diploma "endorsements" in areas including science and technology, business and industry, and the humanities. To qualify for automatic college admissions under the top 10 percent rule and state financial aid, students must take four science credits and Algebra II must be among their four math credits. Algebra II has become the flashpoint between the Legislature and State Board of Education. The state will require five standardized tests in English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S. history. School districts will have the option of offering diagnostic exams in algebra II and English III that will not count toward their accountability rating. Districts will get an A through F rating; campuses will remain under the existing exemplary, recognized, acceptable and unacceptable labels. Prohibition of representatives of vendors serving on advisory boards

19 SB 2 Charter School Reform The state cap on charter contracts will increase by about 15 a year to 305 by Dropout recovery and charters created by a school district will not count toward that cap. High-performing charter schools from out of state will. Up to five charters focused on special needs students will not count toward the cap. School boards will have the authority to vote in favor of converting low-performing campuses into charters. TEA, not the State Board of Education, will oversee the charter approval, renewal and closure process.

20 Vouchers: Cannon Goes “Pop” Politics of the Texas House and Senate Laid Bare Traditional opposition of Democrats, Moderate Republicans, and Rural Republicans held. The Key Players:  For: Governor Rick Perry, Lt Governor David Dewhurst, Senator Dan Patrick, and Big Institutional Support  Against: A Diverse Array of Players, including Teachers, School Districts, and Business People Future uncertain after convincing defeat in 2013.

21 The Power of the Pen: 2013 Vetoes House Bill 2836 (Ratliff) would have required study of STAAR validity, cut elementary school testing, created commission to study role of the State Board of Education, and other measures. House Bill 2824 (Ratliff) would have allowed high performing schools to implement alternative testing. House Bill 217 (Alvarado) would have prohibited the sale of certain drinks on school campuses, including sugar sweetened beverages.

22 What Else Will Impact Foundations? Many cuts that directly impacted foundations’ long-standing partnerships with the state were not restored.  Summer School  Guidance Counseling (More Important than Ever)  Libraries and Librarians  Health Services  Tutoring Senate Bill 376 (Lucio) to expand the school breakfast program to poorest campuses. BIG anti-hunger win. Senate Bill 426 (Nelson) to increase accountability of home visiting programs. Partnered with an additional almost $8 million in new money. Senate Bill 503 (West) to create an Expanded Learning Opportunities Council with foundation participation to increase access to Out of School Time activities and extended learning. House Bill 1018 (Patrick) to empower parents and communities to boost school- based physical activity via existing School Health Advisory Councils and joint land- use agreements. (Kudos to the RGK Foundation in Austin for creating research context.) House Bill 1926 (King) to increase access to online learning and to expand the types of providers who may offer courses.

23 Oh No You Don’t: School Finance The Single Most Important Thing We Didn’t Talk about and (Probably) Won’t Until:  A Special Session in 2014  The 2015 Regular Session  NEVER? Timeline Driven by Courts and Politics/Primary Date. New trial set for District Court in January 2014 Texas Supreme Court holds all the cards. All 9 members are elected statewide and all are Republicans. Will they be willing to push the Legislature to possibly raise taxes?

24 Are You Still Here? Special Sessions First Special Session called 9 minutes after the House concluded its work on Sine Die. Original focus was exclusively on legislative maps and re-districting in response to court order. Governor Rick Perry added abortion to the Special Session, ending any semblance of political kumbaya.

25 How is the Consortium helping? Consortium survey respondents most value: Advocacy Day at the Capitol – 69% Annual research on budget cut impact – 67% Policy updates during session – 62% Pooled funds to support advocacy – 58% Networking with other Foundations – 54% Communications Campaign – 46%

26 What Can We Do NOW? Understand the legislative Interim:  Interim Charges from Lieutenant Governor and Speaker  Interim Hearings and Reports from All Committees Build the research-based agenda for 2015 Work Together to Create Bigger Impact There is strength (and efficiency) in numbers.

27 TEGAC Work Groups Implementation of HB 5 (Accountability and Graduation Requirements), SB 2 (Charter Bill Expansion and Accountability), HB 1926 (Blended Learning), Expanded Learning Opportunities Council Pre-kindergarten Teacher and Principal Quality School Finance integrated into each of the topics

28 TEGAC Interim Charges 1. Monitor implementation of House Bill 5 and opportunities to improve parent outreach and education about changes to high school curriculum. 2. Monitor implementation of Senate Bill 503 and examine opportunities to improve access to and the quality of expanded learning opportunities for Texas students. 3. Examine opportunities for improving access to and quality of pre-kindergarten programs, including opportunities to maximize existing resources and leverage additional local and federal support. 4. Examine opportunities to improve the quality of and support for public school administrators and teachers.

29 How Do Work Groups Function? (June 2013 – December 2014) Consortium determines critical public education for Focus (Implementation of HB 5, SB 2, and HB 1926; pre-k; teacher quality; expanded learning opportunities)  Individual foundations “sign up” for one or more work groups (Commitment of time and resources/opportunity to be lead funder)  High quality research sets priorities for policy reform (e.g: Data project on status of and opportunities for pre-k)  Work group members select diverse partners to promote research-based agenda through advocacy  Texas Legislature and policymakers respond to proposals in 2015  School districts/nonprofits implement new statutes

30 What Can You Do to Help? Spread the Word! The more foundations and philanthropists who join the Consortium, the stronger the Consortium will be. Commit at least $5000 in 2014 to support the Consortium’s infrastructure. Invest a portion of annual grantmaking in 2014 for funding partnerships with other Consortium members as a Seed Funder or Partner Funder of one ore more of the work groups.

31 What did they just say? Jennifer Esterline Voice and Text: Jason Sabo Voice and Text:


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