On January 29, 2013, Texas Kids Can’t Wait co-hosted with the McLennan County Democratic Party a public forum on the importance of equitable and adequate school funding for all Texas schools and the reasons to oppose all moves toward privatization (vouchers, removing the charter cap, closing low performing schools in two years instead of six and turning them into charters, the parent trigger, increasing enrollment in online schools, etc.).

In spite of the storm and rain we had a great crowd, so we wish to thank again all those who came out to learn how we can support our kids’ education.  Thanks again to Kelly McDonald, executive director of the McLennan County Democrats for all the work she did to promote the meeting–press releases, emails, robo calls–the works!  Wow!

We were greatly pleased that staff representatives of elected officials came from the offices of Congressman Bill Flores, Senator Brian Birdwell, Representative Doc Anderson, and Representative Kyle Kacal.  Also present were City Councilwoman Toni Herbert, former mayor Charles Reed, and former mayor–our own Linda Ethridge.

Then today the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce hosted a community meeting about the legislative issues.  Elected representatives spoke, and then there was a question and answer period.  During that period Senator Brian Birdwell, Representative Doc Anderson, and Representative Kyle Kacal ALL expressed support for equitable and adequate funding for schools and agreed that talking about vouchers is not appropriate until the importance of fixing school finance is accomplished by the Legislature!  So a huge, big, monstrous thank you to all of them for caring about the kids!

We also wish to thank Mayor Malcolm Duncan and the Waco City Council for providing leadership in convening the Waco ISD Board of Education and Superintendent, the County Commissioners Court, MCC leaders, and others in a recent city meeting to collaborate in formulating legislative goals, including goals relating to equitable and adequate public school funding.  (I hope you saw my letter to the editor praising them all.)  Their work contributed to the community spirit present at the Chamber meeting today.

Texas Kids Can’t Wait has much to celebrate in the short time we have been actively advocating for Texas kids.  We have much to do, however, before the end of this legislative session.  Now is a good time to write to your legislators, so put that on your to-do list–or call them.  That works too.   –Bonnie Lesley


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