Breathe deeply my friends. It is here. The 82nd Texas legislative session has begun...and, it's brought with it much fear and angst over the future of our public schools. Everywhere I've been in the last few weeks I've heard educators and parents speak with concern and trepidation over what may happen to our public schools this session. It is a time of concern and one where "We the People" need to be paying attention.
I urge you to plug in and follow what is going on in Austin. As always we would never influence you on how to vote, or what to support, we just want to encourage you to educate yourselves, know what is out there and form your own opinions.
The easiest way to follow and track the progress of bills is to visit Texas Legislature Online at www.capitol.state.tx.us. This is the official site of the Texas Legislature and allows you to set up your own account and track the bills that interest you. You can even set it up so that you are notified by email when a bill has had a change in status. To keep your finger on the pulse of the legislative session minute by minute, I recommend www.quorumreport.com. A portion of this site is avalable only to subscribers, but there is enough free content to let you know what is the current "buzz" of the day. Another good place to check out is www.backmic.com. Here you can vote on how you feel about specific bills and even leave comments about them.
Now more than ever it is important that those of us in the profession have an understanding about what our public schools are facing and be able to explain it to those who may ask. Don't be afraid to communicate with your elected officials. They are faced with a daunting task this session so remember to do it in a professional, respectful way. Establishing good relationships between those of us in education and our elected officials is essential to doing what is right for our kids.