On November 27, the Round Rock ISD Administration hosted a Board "workshop" designed to turn Trustees against parental choices in education. The workshop materials were provided by 'Raise Your Hand Texas', the anti-school choice group founded by Charles Butt (who advocates for other Left-wing issues )
Although the stated goals of the workshop presentation are to equip listeners with "information" to "educate parents and community leaders," only the RYHT agenda was presented. No word on whether the district will allow the Trustees to hear both sides of this issue.
The workshop presentation includes the usual scare tactics about allowing parents to choose schools, and omits important data about the various proposals. For example, RYHT does not mention that the Taxpayer Savings Grant proposal allows school districts to keep a portion of funds for students who volunteer for the grants. So districts would have fewer students and a net increase of approximately $473 in per pupil spending.
The RYHT goes on to bash Tax Credit Scholarships and "School of Last Resort" programs, the latter being the Texas Families First proposal to allow students to escape failing and dangerous schools. They express no sympathy for students stuck in unacceptable schools, only imply that the public education monopoly just needs more money.
This attack on parental choice in education is just a follow up to Superintendent Chavez' inappropriate comments at a September 2012 PTA Luncheon. There he not only took it upon himself to speak for the district on legislative issues not yet approved by the Board, but also stated that he had recently met with Texas Senator-elect Charles Schwertner, and that he wanted everyone to "understand who (they had) elected to state office."*
Apparently Superintendent Chavez believes that if parents are given a choice there will be a mass exodus from his school district, and thus he is quite determined to steer the board toward a predetermined policy stance.
If it is in fact the elected trustees who are running this school district, perhaps they should invite in experts to present a balanced view of these education reform issues. There are expert advocates available from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, and The Justice Foundation who would be more than happy to make a presentation.
If you think it would be more appropriate for the board to hear both sides of this issue, please send a courteous and respectful request stating so.
Pauline Law: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Sellers: email@example.com
Diane Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Hanna: email@example.com
Chad Chadwell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Glen Colby: email@example.com
Terri Romere: firstname.lastname@example.org
*I have been allowed to listen to a recording of Chavez' comments that day, but since PTA officials have issued thinly veiled legal threats to the owner of that recording, I cannot share. Four other eyewitnesses have also confirmed these comments to me.