Hosted by Trinity University’s Department of Education, the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development committee met with area superintendents to discuss outcomes from the 85th Texas Legislature, policy issues to consider in the interim, and federal policy changes that affect our local schools and employers.
Starting with school finance, participants agreed this will be one of the most important issues facing the state going into the 2019 legislative session; however, progress will not be made unless there are serious conversations on other sources of state revenue. “Until we (State of Texas) seriously discuss how we can obtain additional revenue through other means, we will never have the ability to solve the challenges faced in funding, not just public education, but health care and child protective services as well,” said Dr. Brian Woods, Superintendent of Northside Independent School District.
In addition to school finance, participants discussed other issues like accountability, dual credit, the newly formed special committee on economic competitiveness, SB4, and DACA. The discussion about DACA centered on the complexity of the issue. Covering everything from the Chamber’s current positon on comprehensive immigration reform to the challenges with data collection, it was clear from the dialogue that the future of DACA is not only of concern to students but employers who employ participants in the DACA program.
At the end of the luncheon, the superintendents and committee members agreed to continue to come together and discuss way to collaborate on issues important to our community schools and workforce. For more information on the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Committee please email Priscilla Camacho.