May 2018
Leslie & Scott Milder
Friends of Texas 
Public Schools
Est. 2004

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Founded in 2016 by Margaret Kilgo, Standards First, Inc. seeks to place importance on the national and Texas state standards in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Science. Click to learn more about offered workshops and resources to help improve student education and change the make-up of current standardized testing!

DK Haney Roofing is a certified TIPS and TXMAS vendor dedicated to helping schools get roofing projects done. Schools have been our specialty for 23 years, so we can help you navigate insurance claims and board approvals. Our state-of-the-art roof management portal provides instant access to all your roofs and reports. Call 866-379-4846. 

With more than a million hits annually on our website and more than 60,000 e-news subscribers, we are pleased to offer advertising and sponsorship opportunities available to organizations wishing to reach school leaders across Texas who support Friends of Texas Public Schools. 

For information on getting your organization's message out to Friends of Texas Public Schools followers and readers, please email Jennifer Storm.  


By educating Texans about Texas Public Schools and their many strengths and achievements, we aim to:

* Underscore the significance of them;
* Unite Texans around them;
* Restore pride in them;
* Strengthen confidence in them;
* Lift spirits among them; and
* Inject resources into them...

...all of which will lead to even greater performance.


99% of Texas school districts achieved "met standard" in the 2015-2016 school year.

95% of Texas school districts achieved "above standard" or better.

Since the inception of the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, almost all school districts have repeatedly proven to be  careful caretakers of taxpayer money. In fact, according to the Texas Education Agency, 99% of Texas school districts achieved "Met Standard" or above, 95% achieved "Above Standard" or better and  89% of all school districts in Texas achieved a "Superior Rating," the highest possible rating in the 2015-2016 school year.  Only  five  of the 1,022 school districts received a "Substandard" rating This dispels the myth of public school detractors that public schools are poorly run and inefficient. 
EDITOR'S NOTE: In recent months, educators have been led to believe by very powerful state leaders that they may not talk about political candidates or measures, and that encouraging one another to vote is a violation of the law. This is absolutely false! School leaders may legally and aggressively encourage their students, employees, parents, and communities to go vote.

Following is a helpful editorial on the topic written by Deron Robinson, General Counsel for the Allen Independent School District.

The Law Does NOT Prohibit Public School Employees from Expressing Political Opinions
By Deron Robinson, General Counsel
Allen Independent School District

Extending an unfortunate recent trend, Texas public schools again came under fire during the 85th  Legislative Session.  Many retired and current school employees have grown tired of this trend and have asked me what they can or cannot say regarding the current political environment.  Public school personnel often feel as though they cannot speak about their beliefs concerning political issues or candidates.  But it is important to know that this is not the case.  

The law does not prohibit public employees from speaking on matters of public concern or expressing opinions regarding candidates and political matters important to them.  

The law does, however, prohibit employees from using public funds, which includes anything of value owned by the District or the employee's work time, to advocate for or against a candidate or measure on a ballot.  Employees are permitted to speak about candidates and political issues using school resources or time, so long as they do not advocate for or against measures or candidates.  

The bottom line is that it is certainly possible to have full discussions regarding public education without violating Texas law.     

Are you ready for a baseball trivia question? Who is Clint Courtney? If you're unsure, don't bother requesting the answer from Cooperstown, N.Y. Clint never came close to making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In fact, it's very doubtful that his picture appeared on any bubble gum cards. This guy wasn't a legend in his own time -- not even in his own mind. 

He was only a memory maker for his family, and a few die-hard fans who were inspired by his tremendous fortitude. Clint played catcher for the Baltimore Orioles in the 1950's. During his career he earned the nickname of Scrap Iron, implying that he was hard, weathered, tough. Old Scrap broke no records -- only bones. He had little power or speed on the base paths. As for grace and style, he made the easiest play look rather difficult. But armed with mitt and mask, Scrap Iron never flinched from any challenge. Batters often missed the ball and caught his shin. Their foul tips nipped his elbow. Runners fiercely plowed into him, spikes first, as he defended home plate. 

Though often doubled over in agony, and flattened in a heap of dust, Clint Courtney never quit. Invariably, he'd slowly get up, shake off the dust, punch the pocket of his mitt once, twice, and nod to his pitcher to throw another one. The game would go on and Courtney with it -- scarred, bruised, clutching his arm in pain, but determined to continue. He resembled a POW with tape, splints, braces, and other kinds of paraphernalia that wounded people wear. Some made fun of him -- calling him a masochist. Insane. Others remember him as a true champion, because he persevered.

Another year is coming to a close and the summer is upon us.  It is a time to rest, re-energize, and continue to grow in your profession.  It does not matter how often we get tired or knocked down, we must get up and remember the children that will be changed in a positive manner through our influence.

THANK YOU for your support of public education. We in public education MUST persevere as we move forward.  Continue to stay involved and informed in the political process and the candidates as we move toward the general election.

Blake W. Cooper
Executive Director
The Holdsworth Center is hosting on Monday, June 4, 2018 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas a daylong conference entitled: ElevatEd: Education and the Economy . ElevatEd  will focus on critical discussions around the widening opportunity gap that's preventing young people from attaining the American Dream, and what a strong public education system can do to help close that gap.
This year's  powerful lineup of experts includes Our Kids author Robert Putnam,  Dream Hoarders  author  Richard Reeves Andreas Schleicher, education director at the OECD and creator of the PISA exam; Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University; Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and more.


Powell & Leon, LLP is founded on an uncompromising commitment to client service. The firm has a comprehensive and diverse education law practice. Our experience representing public schools and other educational institutions in all facets of education law have contributed to our statewide prominence in the area of Texas school law. Visit for more information.
Thank you to our Affiliate Partners!

Belfor - Government Capital -  Powell & Leon - Right at School -  Symmetry  Turf - Texas Association of School Business Officals (TASBO) 
Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) - TransCend4

Are you a vendor, an association, or business looking to get involved with Friends of Texas Public Schools?
Our new Affiliate Partner Program may be perfect for you! Partnerships help us promote Texas Public Schools and are used to assist with the costs of marketing, advertising, and the production of high-profile regional and statewide events.

To become a FOTPS Affiliate Partner, please click below. If you have any questions or would like to discuss additional partnership opportunities, please contact FOTPS Director of Business Operations and Fund Development, Jennifer Storm at 361-549-4339 or

Affiliate Partnership benefits:
  • Company Name Listed at
  • Company Name Listed in Friends Newsletter (distributed monthly to over 60,000 subscribers)
  • One-time recognition on Friends Social Media Outlets
  • Recognition in Friends Gala program
  • Discounted admission for one ticket to the Gala ($25 off)