TASB 2022–2024 Advocacy Agenda Priorities

As Adopted September 24, 2022 by the TASB Delegate Assembly

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to provide additional state funding to help elevate the profession of teaching by providing more substantial financial aid and other programs to incentivize students to enter the field, increase educator and staff compensation, improving staff health and retirement benefits, and decreasing the burdensome mandates that increase an educators’ workload.

Student and Staff Mental Health

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to provide additional support and resources from the mental health field, whether district-based or within collaborative networks, to better increase access to research based proactive and crisis mental health services for students, their caregivers, educators, and staff while reducing the burden on educators and districts to identify or resolve student mental health needs with assistance and collaboration from mental health providers. TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to improve access to evidence-based mental health services and mental health professionals either within a district or a collaborative network. At the same time reduce the burden on educators or districts to identify and solve student mental health issues.

Vouchers

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to prevent any transfer of public funds using vouchers, education savings accounts, or corporate tax credits to private schools or individuals, including the expansion of virtual instruction by corporations.

State Accountability

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to expand opportunities for locally determined accountability frameworks: to continue to reduce mandatory state assessments by eliminating those not required by federal law; to remove the high stakes inherent in the A-F rating system and assessments that impact students, teachers, and schools; to reduce the time students spend taking state tests; and to prohibit standardized tests from serving as the primary indicator of school and student performance.

School Finance

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to update the school finance system and basic allotment – using student enrollment and taking into account regional cost differences – to more equitably distribute future funding, reduce recapture payments, increase funding for student education, and teacher compensation, and provide automatic property tax relief for taxpayers; in addition, any and all excess “revenue in excess of entitlement” must be returned to the basic allotment and not into the general fund or other fund not benefitting traditional public education.

School Facilities

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to recognize the disparities in property values and adequately fund and update the state’s current facilities programs or create a statewide funding mechanism to assist school districts with building new facilities that accommodate student enrollment changes, reduce the need for additional debt, renovate aging facilities with safe and efficient buildings that are conducive to meeting the needs of students in a modern classroom.

Ballot Language Honesty

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to allow school district bond and voter-approved tax ratification propositions to include ballot language that accurately informs voters of what the measure seeks to accomplish.

Restoring Local Community Governance

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to remove existing statutes and prevent new legislation that grants unelected state officials and executive agency staff discretion over how to implement legislation – thereby providing more clarity regarding state law as well as preserving the governance structure of local school boards.

Parental Partnerships

TASB embraces parents as partners with educators, administrators and school trustees in their children’s education as outlined in Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code and encourages productive engagement between them without undue involvement from the state.

Charter Schools

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to restrict the expansion of charter schools and to reduce the impact charter schools and other educational institutions receiving public funds have on the state budget and local public schools by limiting funding to a rate no higher than that of local districts. The legislature should increase the transparency and accountability of charter schools and other educational institutions receiving public funds, especially with regard to student enrollment process/recruitment, student expulsion practices, business operations, and expenditures.

Community Censorship

TASB supports the statutory duty and right of local school boards to advocate and associate for the educational needs of all students and communities.