Superintendent Sara Bonser updated the Plano ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday over the plan for legislative advocacy.

After the most recent election, Texas prepares to enter a legislative session. Plano ISD engaged in workshops with other districts to discuss what goals they have for the upcoming session.  

“There was a series of meetings as we get with other districts that we collaborate with in different groups,” Bonser said. “The first would be the Texas School Coalition. Plano ISD has been a long-standing member of the coalition, and this group represents districts that have typically paid high levels in recapture, and they were considered property-wealthy. That used to be called Chapter 41.”

The code has since changed from 41 to 49 of the Texas Education code after the passing of House Bill 3, which assisted in reforming property taxes and recapture.

On Nov. 11, board members held a workshop to meet with superintendents, administrators and other members from across that state to participate in a planning meeting for the upcoming Texas School Coalition session. They discussed priorities to find a common goal in school financing that they can bring to the Legislature.

“For the Texas School Alliance, we're one of their newest members in the last two years,” Bonser said. “This group has members of the largest districts across the state. It's a different lens of like partners to think and plan with. On Nov. 11 we had a Texas School Alliance meeting to discuss legislative priorities. TSA does in fact get involved with legislation and works with the chairs of education committees, and they have a pretty good planning process that will help us find our voice in Austin alongside some of our large district partners from around the state.”

Vice President Jeri Chambers mentioned to the board that the Texas Association of School Boards will meet between Nov. 17 to Nov. 20 to revise the framework of the school board training and development.

Chambers noted that concerns that the district had over the revisions included an overall decrease in local influence over action taken by the Texas Education Agency.

“The concern is diminished local influence on training for what trustees need,” Chambers said. “The TEA wants to limit local influence. Another concern is that the only measure of student outcome is STARR measurement. The other concern is the limit on local influence on education vision and goals.”

On Nov. 19, the Committee on School Initiatives will receive testimony on those revisions and later vote on the framework.

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