Building the TASB Advocacy Agenda

The Advocacy Agenda—the plan of action TASB will pursue during the legislative biennium—consists of two parts:

  • Advocacy Priorities: A defined set of high-profile, high-commitment legislative objectives arising from TASB’s grassroots process.
  • Advocacy Resolutions: stances guiding TASB’s response to other issues that might arise before the Legislature and other governmental entities.

Each Fall, the Delegate Assembly approves both of these components of the Advocacy Agenda. Association Priorities require approval by two-thirds of the delegates present and voting; Association Resolutions require a simple majority.

How are priorities drafted?

The foundation of the priorities is built during the regional grassroots meetings that take place in January and February of even-numbered years in each of the 20 education service center regions across the state. At these meetings, local board members in the hundreds identify what they saw as statewide priorities for the coming legislation session and elect fellow board members to represent their regions on the Legislative Advisory Council (LAC).

The 108-member LAC then meets twice in Austin to refine the results of the grassroots meetings and formulate proposed Association Priorities. The Council crafts a list of Priorities from the regional agendas. These Priorities go to the TASB Legislative Committee and Board for their Summer Board Meeting, then on to the Delegate Assembly in the Fall for consideration.

What about resolutions?

Between April 1 and June 15 of every year districts may submit proposals for Resolutions that, with the adopted priorities, form the Advocacy Agenda.

Resolutions subsequently adopted by the Delegate Assembly will guide TASB’s responses on other issues that might arise before the Legislature and other governmental entities during the two-year period for which the Advocacy Agenda is adopted.

Resolution proposals submitted after the June 15 bylaws deadline can be considered only on an emergency basis. Emergencies are defined not by the seriousness of the subject, but whether the proposal is triggered by an event occurring after the deadline for submission. Each proposed resolution submitted after the deadline must be accompanied by a statement describing the nature of the emergency.

Proposed resolutions are first reviewed by the TASB Resolutions Committee and thereafter by the TASB Board. As a result of this review, proposed resolutions submitted before the deadline (or granted emergency status if submitted after June 15) are presented to the Delegate Assembly for consideration.

How does a local school board know what priorities will be proposed and whether to propose resolutions?

In proposing resolutions, local boards should consider important legislative and policy considerations that they want TASB to advocate. The current TASB Advocacy Agenda may be helpful as a guide to the issues and may contain a resolution that your district believes is important enough to include in the next Agenda, in which case your district should consider submitting it as a resolution again. Keep in mind that the development of priorities and submission of resolutions are separate, parallel streams that come together in July, with TASB Board consideration and again in the Fall, with Delegate Assembly approval. Consequently, there is likely to be some initial duplication or inconsistency between proposed priorities and resolutions.

As these processes come together and major themes and needs emerge, proposed resolutions that restate priorities or are inconsistent with the priorities will drop aside. School districts that submit resolutions will be kept informed of the status of their resolutions.