Texas Education CAFE™ Advocacy Network
Texas Policy Weekly Update
Each week, we are sharing the latest news about what's happening in Texas education policy and how you can make your voice heard.

In this issue
  • Coming Up: Week of April 19
  • IDRA Office Hours Assistance – Submit your Comments this Week
  • Video Advocacy Campaign: Digitally Divided, Community United
  • Highlights from Last Week
  • Student Advocacy Week
  • Tools & Resources
Previous issues

Coming Up: Week of April 19
Hearings this week will address:
  • Creating a statewide strategic plan for high-quality bilingual education
  • Supporting the bilingual educator workforce through high school career options
  • Bill that harms students and promotes discrimination by sex and gender identity in school athletics
  • Creating a special education voucher program for supplemental services
  • Advancing inequitable and narrowed curriculum standards and constraints on teachers

You can watch the hearings live online. Each hearing covers multiple bills (click the links below to see the agendas). For hearings in the Texas House, you can submit comments about any of the bills being discussed during the hearing using an online portal (even if they've moved on to a different bill).
Monday, April 19
Higher Education Committee
10:30 a.m. (See notice)

Tuesday, April 20
Public Education Committee
8:00 a.m. (See notice)

Wednesday, April 21
Higher Education Committee
7:30 a.m. (See notice)

Monday, April 19
State Affairs Committee
9:00 a.m. (See notice)

Tuesday, April 20
Senate Education Committee
9:00 a.m. (See notice)

Wednesday, April 21
Higher Education Committee
8:00 a.m. (See notice)

Submit Your Comments this Week
IDRA holds virtual office hours to walk you through the process of submitting public comments online 
Every Monday afternoon, IDRA helps students, families, educators and community members submit their own comments on education bills being debated by Texas lawmakers that week. #ShareYourStory

What happens during IDRA’s virtual office hours? 
  • Get information on bills that will be heard by lawmakers that week.  
  • Summarize your own story and how a proposed bill would impact schools in your community. 
  • See how to use Texas’ online public comment portal so you can share your thoughts and ideas with lawmakers.  Submit your comments! 
Mondays • 4:30-5:30 pm cst
Bilingual event in English & Spanish
Register once to get the link and come back any time.
Note: IDRA will assist with bill information and the comment process, not on influencing a participant’s position. 
Video Advocacy Campaign
Digitally Divided, Community United

Students, Parents, Educators: 
How has the digital divide impacted you?  

We need your voice! Record a 15-minute testimony
A new digital equity video campaign will uplift the voices of Texas community members impacted by the digital divide.

The Texas Legislature is considering measures to support broadband access. Using a virtual platform, we are inviting students, families, community members and educators to share their stories about how the digital divide has impacted their learning and their lives. Education equity is a key component of the digital divide.

We have set up a virtual platform for you to record a 15-second video in English or Spanish about how the digital divide has impacted you and what digital equity means to you.

It's a fun way to have an impact!
Highlights from Last Week
Araceli Garcia, IDRA Education Policy Fellow, testified to the Texas Senate Education Committee for SB 2066 on April 15, 2021, to change the language used in the Texas Education Code to label students from “limited English proficient” to the more asset-based “emergent bilingual.” 
Parents submitted their own testimony about school funding. Here are excerpts:
"I'm asking for resources so that all districts have trained teachers so that all students can achieve a high level."
– Raquel Negrete
“We want to ask you that more funds be destined for the schools so that we have prepared teachers, help in counseling for the students, safe transportation and a safe environment for the protection of our children so that parents have more peace of mind knowing that their children go to school in an appropriate environment. That is going to take more resources for all that to happen.” 
– Mari Orozco
“We ask for funds so that all schools have more trained teachers to help all the children who have fallen behind.”
– Susana Mares
“Teachers are going to have a bigger job. They are going to need more psychologists to support them. With all that is happening, the pandemic, the confinement and everything, somehow is going to have collateral damage. So, you need allocate funds to have either train the teachers more or hire specialized personnel to treat anxiety and stress."
– Brenda García
IDRA submitted the following testimony last week.

The Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition submitted the following testimony last week.

Student Advocacy Week
Are you a young person in Texas ready to lead the fight for justice?

Starting Monday April 19, 2021, join Young Invincibles for #AdvocatesAtTXLege, a virtual advocacy week.

Students across Texas are pushing for a transformative health care and higher education agenda — from protecting financial aid to fighting for mental health support and student debt relief.
Students are coming together to win the changes our communities deserve! Activities include a Twitter Townhall, rally, legislative training, and opportunities to meet with offices! 
5815 Callaghan Road, Suite 101
San Antonio, TX 78228
Phone: 210-444-1710