January 2018

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 22,000 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 Scott Milder at smilder@fotps.org.
"Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.  The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education." 
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

(courtesy of the Texas Secretary of State website)

Why is voting in the Primary Election so important?

In Texas, many elections are decided in the Primary! When you vote in the Primary, your vote will have the most impact when you select the party primary that is most competitive.

Texas has Open Primaries, which do not require voters to declare in advance the party with which they wish to be associated. So, any registered voter may vote in any party's primary - but voters can vote in only one party's primary during a single primary period.

Total number of votes cast in the 2014:

Republican Governor Primary - 1,333,875

Democratic Governor Primary - 554, 014

Republican Lieutenant Governor Primary - 1,333,896

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Primary - 451,822

Republican Lieutenant Governor Primary Runoff - 752,780


Dear Friends,
2018 is here and it is hard to believe that January has almost come and gone!  It is our desire that your school buildings will be full of warmth and love as your students look to learn and grow.

It is also getting close to the time of election season when candidates begin to say things to get certain groups to vote for them.  It is the desire of Friends of Texas Public Schools that public education will be the forefront of your voting decisions.  We must be an informed citizenry that will look at each candidate for their past record and with whom they align themselves.  Most importantly, we must vote if we expect to be heard and stand up for the 5.4 million school children, 600,000 plus active educators, and many retired educators in our great state.  Our organization believes that WE MUST TELL OUR STORY.  We must let our communities know of all the exceptional things happening in our buildings.  This is a turning point in public education and I hope you will do your part.

Remember these important dates:
February 5th - Last day to register to vote
February 20th - March 2nd - Early Primary Voting
March 6th - Primary Election Day
"Ask yourself not if this or that is expedient, but if it is right." Alan Paton
Blake W. Cooper
Executive Director


Dear Friends, 

I am not a school teacher or administrator. In fact, the profession never even crossed my mind as a student in High School or college. But, like most, if not all of you, I had (and still do have) role models and mentors that have helped me along the way. After all, none of us really get anywhere without the help, love and support of others and God's guidance through them.

I had four specific role models who played an important role in my life and had a significant impact on the lives, growth and development of others in countless ways.

One role model started his career as a history teacher in a small public school in Illiniois. He later became a major business owner, successful farmer, school board member and served on the hospital board in his community. Somewhere along the way he married a wonderful woman, who I would consider more of an angel than a mentor, which is why she is not noted. That woman was of course my grandma. 
Grandpa taught me those typical things they always do, especially when there is a farm involved; how to drive with a book under your rump when you're 11, the importance of hard work and treating people respectfully, etc. 

During their marriage, another mentor and role model came along, my mother. Before I was born, my mother was a school teacher in a small community that led to her involvement with various charitable organizations, many of which helped young people establish or maintain their education while in an adverse situation  There is simply not enough space in this article to mention the impact she had on so many lives, as is likely the same with your mothers. 

While she was a teacher, my Dad was getting a doctorate and eventually became a professor at a couple of colleges, then moved on to be a Dean, then an upper level administrator, and finally a President of a large state (public) university. 
His education started as a kindergartner in a rural public school in a town of less than 7.000 people. I think he and his twin brother graduated with about 75 kids. I can still hear wisdom in his voice and often think about the numerous conversations we had about the importance of strong public education. 

Unfortunately, but fortunately, their marriage did not last.  I was blessed to have the most loving, caring and giving step-dad anyone could ever ask for. He grew up in a small town and was the first in his family to attend college. He made it on a full ride baseball scholarship and eventually became a baseball coach and teacher in a large public school before finding my mother, who of course turned his life upside down. He ended up finding a career using his coaching and teaching skills in training sales directors at a large company. It is impossible to list the life leasons that man taught me, my brothers and my friends.

I believe God gave my role models, and likely yours, their skills and talents, first through education, and specifically public education.  I am not a teacher or administrator. But the love I have for public education comes from first hand experience and witness of the impact it can have on so many lives and on so many levels.

It is a true honor to be a friend of public education, and it is an honor to be associated with you.  We have lots of work to do in order to continue spreading the message of the many great things you and public education are doing  for our communities and our kids.

So let's get after it and get the word out about the GREAT THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING IN TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!

Have an excellent 2018!!

Steve Risser
President, Friends of Texas Public Schools


Panorama Education is a Boston based technology company that helps schools measure concepts like growth mindset and school safety. Schools leverage our analytics tools and coaching to understand insights from student, teacher, and community feedback data. Today we reach over 4 million students across 7500 schools including some of our country's largest districts.

We're a team of 70, with $16mm in funding from YCombinator, Spark Capital, Mark Zuckerberg, SV Angel, and others. We're searching for new team members who are intrigued by building tools and services that will have a direct impact on millions of students and educators. 

Your VOTE is your VOICE!  You can't vote if you aren't registered.  Click here to register today. 

If 100% of educators vote, we can change the outcome of elections.

The people you elect decide:

1. How much to fund public schools

2. How much time, money, and attention is spent on standardized testing

3. Whether to support or undermine public education

4. Whether to privatize education in Texas

Let's move Texas out of last place in voter turnout!

Learn more at  www.texaseducatorsvote.com .

Help create a culture of voting on your campus; purchase a "I have a Teacher Voice" shirt to remind your colleagues of the importance of voting.

Great things are happening in our Texas public schools! We want to share that story with Texans across the state, and we need your help to continue our work.
All public school districts in Texas are invited to enroll in our Friends of Texas Public Schools Network for the 2017-18 school year. If you were a member of the network last year we want to welcome you back. If you haven't been a member of our network before, we hope you will consider joining us this year.


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.
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