Consortium’s Research and Policy Recommendations 2019
For 2018-19, the Consortium commissioned, conducted, and is sharing research on four policy priorities to the Texas Legislature during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session. These priorities are: Early Grade Success, Pathways to College and Career, School Finance and Teacher Quality.
Click here for our 2019 Legislative Priorities.
Outlined below are our policy recommendations.
1. Early Grade Success
- Texas philanthropy knows the value of high-quality early childhood education as evidenced by decades of philanthropic investment in birth through age eight. Overwhelming research indicates full-day, high-quality pre-k paves the way for student success by improving school readiness and early grade achievement.
- Invest in formula-funded, high-quality, optional full-day pre-k to improve school readiness and early grade success.
- The Legislature and the Texas Education Agency should continue to collect and analyze data on Texas pre-k programs, and identify opportunities for additional pre-k program improvements.
Click here for more information on early grade success.
2. Pathways To College & Career
- In Texas, less than 20 percent of 8th graders go on to complete a post-secondary credential within six years of high school graduation, leaving the Texas workforce in demand for high-skilled labor. Effective state resources and coordination will enhance counseling programs, and align the K-12, higher education and workforce systems at the state and regional level.
- Increase student access to school counselors (both academic advisers and school-based mental health professionals) and ensure that counselors have access to quality professional learning and on-demand resources to more efficiently serve their students.
- Create a tri-agency "Work-Based Learning Task Force" that is responsible for making recommendations to encourage and remove barriers to work-based learning to the commissioners of TWC, TEA, and THECB.
- For the top 25 university programs into which students are transferring, require universities to identify applicable lower-division course requirements to encourage smoother credit transfer.
3. School Finance
- Our growing Texas public school system is underfunded. As local school taxes increase, state funding decreases, leaving per student funding flat. The lack of substantial state investment over time has made schools over-reliant on private philanthropy to fill the state's duty to fund public education.
- Increase the state's share of public education funding, particularly for our highest need populations.
- Require local education tax dollars sent to the state be used for public education, and not used to fill other budget shortfalls or fund other programs.
- Invest in a skilled and dynamic workforce to achieve the state's 60x30 Texas workforce goals.
Click here for more information on school finance.
4. Effective Teaching
- Texas must recruit and retain diverse, high-achieving teacher candidates into quality education preparation programs to meet the growing academic and social-emotional needs of our student population.
- All teachers should have access to a high-quality, well-trained mentor in at least their first two years of teaching.
- Require school districts to provide training in trauma-informed practices to new staff, including teachers, administrators, and school resource officers.
- Add trauma-informed instruction to the list of continuing professional education requirements that teachers must complete in order to renew their licenses every five years.
- Maintain high standards and data transparency for educator preparation programs, and reject any efforts to lower standards or prevent high-quality licensure requirements.
Click here for more information on effective teaching.