Teachers reach out to legislators with #TexEd campaign

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Roy Nitzan

As Governor Greg Abbott promised to prioritize school finance reform. Educators on campus like and across the state started a social media campaign to make sure legislators do not forget.

Designed to highlight the work happening in Texas’ public schools, a new social media campaign, #TxEdTuesday, is making its way throughout the Lone Star state. Educators throughout the state are being asked to tweet every Tuesday, and tag state politicians in Austin as they debate school finance.

Public school finance reform has got to change, it’s got to be fixed, ”

— Frisco ISD Superintendent Michael Waldrip

“There are some big legislative things going on in Austin right now,” Frisco ISD Superintendent Michael Waldrip said. “Probably the biggest thing and the governor and all the legislators have said this, is that public school finance reform has got to change, it’s got to be fixed because right now it’s a broken system and so there is a huge emphasis right now on Austin on fixing school finance.”

Texas governor Greg Abbott announced school finance and property tax reform as two of his main priorities in his inauguration address on Jan. 15.

“[The school finance system] is not adequate to put our students on the path to excellence that they deserve,” Abbott said. “The state must invest more in public education.”

Abbott is now focusing on the changes he would like to bring to public schools and believes that this is an opportunity that needs to be seized.

“We serve at a unique time in Texas history,” Abbott told lawmakers in the House chamber. “A time that we are going to be able to seize an opportunity to cement a legacy for Texas.”

With school finance seemingly a priority in Austin, the #TxEdTuesday campaign is seeking to get the attention of state lawmakers.

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“Those are the folks that make decisions about any number of things that go on in public education,” Waldrip said. “Like how we’re funded, the things we teach in our classes and they need to know what’s going on in public education so that they can make good decisions about public education.”

Each Tuesday the goal is to have at least 1,000 #TxEdTuesday posts, with some teachers on campus actively involved.

It was suggested to us to use the hashtag to just promote our school and what we’re doing in school,”

— social studies teacher Jennifer Nelken

“It was suggested to us to use the hashtag to just promote our school and what we’re doing in school, our education and things like that,” social studies teacher Jennifer Nelken said. “Just to let people around the state know what we’re doing and our representatives as well.”

Meeting every two years, and only until the end of May, there is limited time for lawmakers to change school finance which is why the #TxEdTuesday is not limited to Tuesdays.

“The hashtag can be used by anyone, by students and educators,” Waldrip said. “There is an emphasis on Tuesdays because everybody in the state come together and does it on Tuesday but it can be used at any day of the week.”