The State of Texas's 88th Legislative Regular Session ran January 10-May 29, 2023, and Keller ISD continues to pay attention to activity in Austin and how it may impact the District and Texas public schools.
Keller ISD's Board of Trustees approved a set of Legislative Priorities for the 88th Session, with input from KISD's Legislative Priorities Development Committee – a group of KISD parents, teachers, and administrators.
The Texas Constitution states that “a general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.” Keller ISD asks our legislators to prioritize the following issues:
RECRUIT AND REWARD EXCELLENT EDUCATORS
Keller ISD is recognized for its excellent educators and staff. Teacher compensation has not kept pace with cost of living, and state funding does not provide flexibility for districts to reward or incentivize outstanding teachers. To address these issues, we support:
- Increasing teacher compensation and benefits.
- Funding schools based on enrollment instead of average daily attendance (ADA) to better reflect how public schools are staffed and operated.
- Increasing the basic funding allotment to account for inflation.
ENHANCE SCHOOL SECURITY
Keller ISD is committed to the safety of every student in the classroom and on their campuses. Current state funding penalizes forward-thinking districts focused on sharpening school security. To address this issue, we support:
- Allocating funds for new security measures on campuses, including state funding assistance for school resource officers.
- Reimbursing districts like Keller ISD that proactively complete security enhancement measures before they are required by the state.
INCENTIVIZE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PROGRAMS
Keller ISD is a destination because of its educational programming and focus on meeting workforce demands. Additional support is needed to maintain and enhance these programs. To address this issue, we support:
- Expanding STEM programming by allocating funds for one-time start-up costs.
- Increasing special education funding to keep pace with growth in students, fill critical positions, and cover costs of diagnostics.
- Increasing CTE funding and allowing districts flexibility on how to spend funding based on workforce needs.
ADOPT THE NEXT GENERATION OF STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY
STAAR costs taxpayers $90 million a year and teachers and students multiple hours of instructional time. Keller ISD supports school accountability, but we also know we can do better. To address this issue, we support:
- Allowing for flexibility in summative assessments that may be used to evidence growth and academic success.
KEEP INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT OUT OF SCHOOLS
Keller ISD is committed to student safety, well-being, and parental involvement in education, but we have more work to do. To address this issue, we support:
- Legislative efforts to further protect students from age-inappropriate content.
- Strengthening the rights and responsibilities of parents to participate in the education of their children.
State Legislators Representing Keller ISD include:
DATES OF INTEREST
October 9, 2023
Beginning of 88th Third Special Session (specific charge TBD)