Press Release: STATE’S FASTEST GROWING SCHOOL DISTRICTS CALL ON TEXAS LAWMAKERS TO INVEST IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 27, 2020

Contact: Jennifer Harris
jharris@jwhcommunications.com | 512-773-7168

STATE’S FASTEST GROWING SCHOOL DISTRICTS CALL ON TEXAS LAWMAKERS TO INVEST IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Coalition’s Priorities Reflect Unique Challenges of “Destination Districts”

AUSTIN, TEXAS—As the Legislative Session gets underway in Austin this month, the state’s fastest-growing school districts call on state lawmakers to protect Texas’ historic investments in public schools and address chronically low state investment in fast-growth school facilities funding. 

Fast Growth School Coalition represents the collective voice of the state’s fastest-growing school districts. The majority of new student enrollment in Texas public schools each year occurs in roughly just 75 of the more than 1,200 Texas public school districts. 

The coalition’s legislative priorities reflect the unique challenges fast-growing districts face and broader public school policy concerns in light of COVID-19. 

“Increasing state funding for new facilities to ensure our fast growth districts can meet the needs of their community remains a challenge,” said Dr. Greg Smith, Executive Director of Fast Growth School Coalition. “COVID-19 only adds to the budget challenges and financial concerns facing our districts and public schools all across our state.”

In addition to protecting the state’s historic investments in public schools last session (House Bill 3, 86th Regular Session), Fast Growth School Coalition’s legislative priorities also include:

  • Encourage investment in facilities funding: Adjust the “fast growth allotment” in public school facilities funding to ensure targeted funding serves schools where concentrated enrollment creates a disproportionate impact.
  • Support charter school transparency and efficiency: Require voter approval of a new charter within the ISD where it will be located and provide better school and public notification for new charter school construction. 
  • Renew Texas’ commitment to local control: Support local control with uniform election dates. Amend ballot language that misleads voters and restore the notion of freedom with accountability.
  • Connect students, schools, and communities: Develop an omnibus solution to address the broadband access divide in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

A complete summary of Fast Growth School Coalition’s legislative priorities is available online.

“We strongly believe – and the economic data has shown – that money matters in public education and an investment in our state’s fastest-growing schools makes good economic sense,” said Dr. Smith. 

Areas of rapid economic growth, business expansion, and significant population increases are where Texans can find fast-growth school districts.

“Not only do fast growth districts provide high-quality education, but they’re also driving Texas’ economy and recovery from the pandemic,” said Dr. Smith. “Texas’ fastest-growing school districts create and sustain jobs, drive new construction and infrastructure investment in local communities, and spur further business relocations and expansions.”

Dr. Smith, who most recently served as Superintendent of Clear Creek ISD, took the reins of Fast Growth School Coalition, effective Jan. 1. He replaces Dr. Guy Sconzo, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

“Dr. Smith is the right leader for our coalition during this especially challenging time for our state’s fastest-growing school districts. He’ll be a strong advocate for our coalition and public schools more broadly,” said Dr. Doug Killian, President of Fast Growth School Coalition and Superintendent of Pflugerville ISD.

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About Fast Growth School Coalition

For more than two decades, the Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC, fastgrowthtexas.org) educates and advocates for investment in the state’s fastest-growing school districts to deliver the high-quality education Texas students and taxpayers deserve. For a complete list of fast-growth school districts, visit http://fastgrowthtexas.org/member-districts/. Follow Fast Growth School Coalition on Twitter, @FastGrowthTexas.