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Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations Amarillo, Texas August 1, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations Amarillo, Texas August 1, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium Legislative Update and Next Steps for Texas Foundations Amarillo, Texas August 1, 2013

2 Tweet it up! @tegac @texassabo #txlege

3 Overview of the Morning Refresher on the Origins and Goals of Consortium Legislative Update on Top Foundation Concerns Local Perspectives on State Policy April 2013 Foundation Survey Results Strategic Plan and Timeline for 2013 to 2015 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. 16 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.

6 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 – July 2013: Follow Up Fridays in Amarillo, Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco, and Far West Texas.

7 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.

8 Amarillo ISD and the 2011 Budget Cuts How much were Amarillo ISD schools cut in 2011?  Lost Base Revenue 2011 - $11,634,615  Lost Base Revenue 2012 - $3,068,643 What was trimmed from AISD as a result of the cuts?  Guidance Counseling  Library Services  Testing Materials  Athletics BUT… Good news from Austin in 2013

9 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!

10 Changing Politics of Texas House

11 Deceptive Stability of Texas Senate

12 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”.

13 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 2015. 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.

14 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. 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

15 SB 2 Charter School Reform The state cap on charter contracts will increase by about 15 a year to 305 by 2019. 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.

16 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.

17 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.

18 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.)

19 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?

20 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. Capitol Watchers are unclear if public education or another unforeseen issue will trigger one or more additional Special Sessions.

21 Local Perspectives on Philanthropy and Advocacy Senator Kel Seliger Texas Senate Carla Weatherly Region 16 ESC – Early Education Shirley Clark Region 16 ESC – Assessment and Accountability Dr. Rod Schroder Amarillo Independent School District

22 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%

23 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.

24 TEGAC Work Groups Implementation of HB 5 (Accountability and Graduation Requirements), SB 2 (Charter Bill Expansion and Accountability), HB 1926 (Blended Learning) Early Childhood Education and Pre-kindergarten Teacher Quality School Finance integrated into each of the topics HB 5 Implementation is highest priority in terms of timing

25 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; early childhood education; 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 impact of cuts)  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

26 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 2013 and in 2014 to support the Consortium’s infrastructure. Commit a portion of annual grantmaking for funding partnerships with other Consortium members via participation in workgroups.

27 What did they just say? Jennifer Esterline Voice and Text: 512.796.4530 Jason Sabo Voice and Text: 512.450.2125

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