As the 87th Legislative Session is underway, Read Fort Worth convened a number of key community partners to join forces and advocate for education with unified voice to the Tarrant County Delegation on Tarrant County Legislative Day, hosted by the Fort Worth chamber of Commerce. The Advocacy Allies include: Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Best Places for Kids, Child Care Associates, Commit Partnership, North Texas Community Foundation, T3-Tarrant To & Through Partnership, Texas Impact Network, The Miles Foundation, The Morris Foundation and the United Way of Tarrant County.
“We are at a critical juncture,” said Read Fort Worth Executive Director and Head of Education Giving for The Morris Foundation Elizabeth Brands. “Fall literacy assessments for Fort Worth ISD students project that fewer students will pass the state STAAR assessment this Spring. We look to cities like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, where it took students multiple years to regain learning loss because of the consequences of that disaster. But there is an opportunity in this crisis to create bold and innovative solutions to meet this unique time. Collectively we must face this challenge and create the path forward for students in our community.”
Maintain Critical State Legislation:
- Elevating Teacher Quality: Recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers will give students the greatest chance at achieving academic success.
- Early Education Allotment: Maintain funding for full-day preschool for four-year-old children and other incentives that place a heightened priority on third grade reading as a top academic indicator.
- PreK-12 60×30 Literacy Goals and Progress Reports: Hold local school boards and Superintendents accountable for third graders performing satisfactorily on state literacy assessments.
Advance Important Local Policies:
- Additional Days School Year (ADSY): More days in classrooms to increase instructional time for students who need it most.
- Teacher Quality & Tax Ratification Election (TRE) Funding: TRE dollars allocated for Teacher Quality to recruit, retain, and compensate teachers in connection with employee designation system that measures (among other competencies) student academic outcomes.
- Reading Academies: Evidence-based professional development for all K-3rd grade teachers and principals in the best-practices of classroom literacy instruction.
- Kindergarten Readiness: Working with community partners to boost readiness of students when entering Fort Worth ISD.
“This education crisis is the challenge of our time, but I believe we have an opportunity to make lasting and impactful changes for our kids,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “There are so many groups doing good work in our community, imagine the impact across areas of need if we brought those groups together to provide comprehensive services. This is the kind of collaboration that will solve our most dire challenges.”