December 2022 Annual Report

Page 1

Texas Association of School Boards 2022 Annual Report A Special Edition of the Texas Lone Star Magazine VOLUME 40 | ISSUE 10 DECEMBER 2022 TASB.ORG
2 | December 2022 |
Students listen to a session at Governance Camp 2022.



TASB 2022-23

A special edition of TASB’s Texas Lone Star magazine

December 2022 • Volume 40 • Number 10

Dan Troxell • TASB Executive Director

Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield • TASB Deputy Executive Director

Laura Tolley • Managing Editor

Shu-in Powell • Graphic Designer

Virginia Hernandez • Photographer

360 Press Solutions • Printer

Contributors: Leslie Trahan, Beth Griesmer, Sylvia Wood, Joan Randall, Melissa Locke Roberts, Denise Schulz, Theresa Gage-Dieringer, John Pyle, Chris Ramirez

Texas Lone Star (ISSN 0749-9310) is published 10 times a year by the Texas Association of School Boards. Copyright © 2022 by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). All rights reserved. Reproduction, adaptation, distribution, and exhibition in whole or in part are prohibited under penalty of law without the written license or permission of TASB.

TASB Officers 2022-23

Debbie Gillespie, President, Frisco ISD

Armando Rodriguez, President-Elect, Canutillo ISD

Rolinda Schmidt, First Vice-President, Kerrville ISD, Region 20A

Tony Hopkins, Second Vice-President, Friendswood ISD, Region 4C

Mary Jane Hetrick, Secretary-Treasurer, Dripping Springs ISD, Region 13B

Ted Beard, Immediate Past President, Longview ISD

TASB Board of Directors 2022-23

Moises Alfaro, Mathis ISD, Region 2

Jesus Amaya, Los Fresnos CISD, Region 1A

Rose Avalos, Aldine ISD, Region 4H

Carlos Bentancourt, Slaton ISD, Region 17

Kamlesh Bhikha, ESC 2, ESC Representative

Lynn Boswell, Austin ISD, Region 13A

Darlene Breaux, Alief ISD, Region 4B

Steve Brown, Ector County ISD, Region 18

Kevin A. Carbó, Mesquite ISD, Region 10D

Justin Chapa, Arlington ISD, Region 11C

Julie Cole, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Region 11A

Thomas Darden, Cooper ISD, Region 8

Rebecca Fox, Katy ISD, Region 4E

Karen Freeman, Northside ISD, Region 20B

Linda Gooch, Sunnyvale ISD, Region 10B

Myrna Guidry, Houston ISD, Region 4D

Julie Hinaman, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, Region 4F

Tricia Ikard, Maypearl ISD, Region 10A

Tami Keeling, Victoria ISD, Region 3

Mark Lukert, Wichita Falls ISD, Region 9

Kathy Major, Liberty Hill ISD, Region 13C

Kristen Davison Malone, Fort Bend ISD, Region 4G

Raymond P. Meza, San Felipe Del Rio CISD, Region 15

Dan Micciche, Dallas ISD, Region 10C

Scott Moore, Conroe ISD, Region 6B

Steven Newcom, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD, Region 11D

Nicholas Phillips, Nederland ISD, Region 5

Quinton Phillips, Fort Worth ISD, Region 11B

Beth Prykryl, New Caney ISD, Region 6A

Tony Raymond, Sabine ISD, Region 7

Georgan Reitmeier, Klein ISD, Region 4A

Sylvia Sánchez Garza, South Texas ISD, Region 1B

Cindy Spanel, Highland Park ISD-Potter County, Region 16

Mildred Watkins, La Vega ISD, Region 12

Greg Welch, Clyde CISD, Region 14

Robert Westbrook, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, Region 20D

Terri Williams, North East ISD, Region 20E Follow | December 2022 | 3
2021-22 Year in Review
Active Member Benefits
Directors TASB Statement of Finances Advocate of the Year List of Advocates Advocacy Agenda txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention 100% Attendance Leadership TASB 2023 Executive Director’s Message Looking Ahead to 2023 4 6 8 18 20 21 22 24 26 31 32 34 36 Photo by TASB Media Services 16
TASB 2022-23


Many district triumphs in 2022

AS I SAT DOWN TO WRITE MY FINAL COLUMN OF 2022, I went back and looked at what I said in my inaugural post in January for Texas Lone Star

I wrote then about my passion for storytelling and my admiration for those who dedicate themselves to serving their communities, especially Texas public schools. Throughout this year, I’ve seen so many examples of how school board members, administrators, teachers, and others are working hard on multiple fronts, through numerous challenges, to provide the best education possible to all students.

I’m pleased that we’ve been able to tell a number of those stories in the magazine. Everyone here at TASB who works on stories, graphics, and photos has strived to expand our coverage to include more of these important district perspectives. We even launched a special feature this year, District Voices, as a way to hear directly from school board members and educators about the extraordinary work in their districts. We’re looking for submissions for 2023!

We expanded our reach this year because we know there is so much great work being done in public schools for our students. We wanted to highlight your many accomplishments and innovative programs as well as discuss your challenges and potential solutions to them. We couldn’t cover every interesting story, but we definitely

June’s cover story, for example, featured North East ISD’s new Institute for Cybersecurity and Innovation, which uses real-world problem-solving scenarios to train students in cybersecurity and networking. This innovative magnet school, which opened about a year ago in San Antonio, is a collaboration among the district’s administration, its board of trustees, and local businesses. Shannon Grona, school board president, wants the institute to help prepare students for a variety of pathways

In the same issue, I wrote about a unique project at Longview ISD in East Texas. The district has cultivated a vast, vibrant garden that helps provide healthy meals to the district’s 13 campuses. We all know how important good nutrition is to health and the ability to learn. The district’s garden efforts have even earned the acclaim of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who praised the project as a model for other school districts. “I’m proud of what we’ve done here,” Phyllis Dozier, the district’s director of Child Nutrition, told me. She should be proud!

The July issue, a special edition devoted to student success, was filled with moving stories about Texas public education’s incredible range of programs and opportunities and how students are achieving on so many levels — despite another year of tough pandemic challenges. There were 20 students at Canyon ISD whose efforts were rewarded with generous scholarships as part of an inaugural pre-engineering program at West Texas A&M University. Bellaire High School in Houston ISD had a record 13 valedictorians. Taylor ISD’s welding courses continued to draw more girls to the high school program.

As we tried to capture some of the amazing work happening in districts across Texas, we also wrote about the many services and programs TASB offers to its members to help them do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This annual report chronicles, in brief, many of the Association’s accomplishments over the past year.

I know the year ahead will bring new challenges for Texas school board members. The Legislature begins in January, the criticism of public education remains, the fallout from the pandemic continues. But your unwavering commitment to public education is making a positive difference in the lives of our schoolchildren. You will continue those selfless efforts in 2023 — and we will be here to write about it.

I wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season!H

4 | December 2022 |
EDITOR’S NOTE | December 2022 | 5
Governance Camp 2022 attendees posted notes about what public education means to them. Photo by TASB Media Services


Texas school districts work hard for all students

as I sit on my patio listening to the outstanding Frisco High School marching band practice in the distance. I cherish the moments I have to enjoy the gifts that surround us daily, and I often find myself beginning to daydream or reflect on different

It seems as if we just started the new school year, but we are already heading into the holiday season.

What a year 2022 has been for us! It has been rewarding and joyful in so many ways as we continue to work on behalf of all Texas public school students. But Texas school districts also have faced a number of challenges related to the pandemic, as well as continued attacks on public

Many school district trustees have been repeatedly tested — I know. Yet we all continue to persevere because we know that we can’t let anything deter us from our mission to ensure that all students get the best education possible. We can’t let our students get lost in the noise.

I understand the challenges you face — and I know why you continue to take on those challenges. Being a trustee gives us the opportunity to support our students in so many ways. We are budget wranglers, problem solvers, cheering supporters at Friday games, competitions, and morning assemblies, and more.

We are elected by our communities to represent every child, every teacher and staff member, every parent, and every community member — and we take that respon-

sibility seriously. Our work helps ensure that students will continue to have access to a vast range of education opportunities, experiences, and choices in and outside the classroom. Our dedicated efforts help them succeed.

But let’s be honest, it’s not easy.


At the TASB Summer Leadership Institute gathering in Fort Worth, speaker Adolph Brown said a couple of things that really resonated with me and my work as a trustee. I wanted to pass them along here:

“Don’t believe everything your brain tells you,” he said. We hear things, we assume things, but Brown encouraged us to take the time to go straight to the source and ask questions. I took his advice and have found that truly listening and asking questions helps me better understand an issue so that I can do better for everyone in our districts.

Brown also said, “We lose our way when we forget our why.” For me, this is such a powerful statement because it reminds me to take a step back before I get caught up in the noise that can distract me from the amazing teaching and learning that happens in our classrooms every day.

Remember, we are in this together. There are over

6 | December 2022 |
Debbie Gillespie

1,000 Texas school districts with more than 5.4 million public school students. But at the end of the day, we are really one large district that supports each other and our students. We proudly share our successes, but we also share the pain of hurt, loss, and tragedy.


I’m sure you all have a story of how you or your district have helped or been helped by colleagues through a difficult time. And I think we can all sadly agree that we will forever be changed by the horrific, senseless tragedy in Uvalde. We will all continue to share that pain with the Uvalde community for a very long time.

While we continue to console those who are still grieving and trying to heal, we cannot forget to find our way back to the joy of sharing in all of our successes, too. Frisco ISD celebrated many achievements this year, and I know you all enjoyed your own student successes as well. I share your joy in their accomplishments!

We know we will have more challenging times ahead in 2023, but my wish for you is to find a word, a Bible verse, a quote, or something that inspires you to reflect, dream, hope, and most of all, put everything back into perspective and continue our focus on student success.

Maybe I will find a new word for 2023, but for now, I will continue to choose joy so that I can stay focused on my why H | December 2022 | 7
Debbie Gillespie, a Frisco ISD trustee, is 2022-23 president of TASB.

TASB’s 2021-22 Year in Review

Texas public school districts in 202122 continued to work hard to chart successful paths forward for all Texas public schoolchildren. TASB’s programs and services were there to help districts on this important journey. The Association provided expert training and guidance, while also launching new services and enhancing existing ones. Following are highlights of TASB’s many efforts to help Texas public schools.


GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS: Early in the year, hundreds of trustees gathered for the regional Grassroots Meetings. The meetings provided them an opportunity to share input on TASB’s advocacy priorities for the 88th Texas Legislature. Many common issues were identified during the 20 regional meetings — concerns about teacher recruitment and retention, mental health of students and teachers, school funding, vouchers, and charter schools.

Trustees also elected regional representatives to the TASB Legislative Advisory Council. The 110-member council developed the draft Advocacy Priorities — the position statements that will direct the Association’s advocacy efforts during the upcoming legislative session. The draft was reviewed by the TASB Board of Directors and recommended to the Delegate Assembly, which adopted it in September.

In March, school boards began developing their submissions for Advocacy Resolutions. More than 180 proposed resolutions were submitted, and the TASB Board recommended 75 to the Delegate Assembly. The approved Advocacy Resolutions will guide TASB’s response to issues that may arise before the Legislature.

LEGAL SERVICES: TASB Legal Services hosted four Fall Legal Seminars in 2021 with about 189 people attending and 48 viewing them online. Legal Services attorneys presented at numerous events, such as the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention, the TASB Administrative Professionals Conference, Governance Camp, the Spring Workshops, and the two Summer Leadership Institutes. The online TASB School Law eSource had 45,949 visitors and continued to grow with three new topics added and updates to 73 resources. For members looking to stay on top of legal topics relevant to their district, Legal Services published nine editions of the School Law Update newsletter, available free in the TASB Member Center. In the past year, the legal team has received more than 3,780 calls on topics ranging from the Texas Open Meetings Act to student discipline, and from employee leave questions to questions about school district purchasing.

POLICY SERVICE: TASB Policy Service launched the new Policy Online™ on Sept. 14 with updated features designed to make policy maintenance easier for districts and board members. With the new features, districts can customize adoption notification, submit adoption dates, track policies pending board action, and add links to district resources.

Policy Service also completed two TASB-initiated policy manual updates. The division also processed more than 2,000 district-initiated local updates and completed Policy Review Sessions for 82 districts.

In addition, Policy Service provided numerous training and educational opportunities, including the quarterly Policy Spotlight newsletter, video overviews of

8 | December 2022 |

policy manual updates, presentations on the school health advisory council and equity issues in policy decisions, workshops on school wellness policies and plans, and webinars following updates to key publications like the Model Student Handbook

BOARD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES: TASB Board Development Services staff members traveled across the state working with districts from Dalhart to Harlingen, El Paso to Nacogdoches, and many points between. They provided more than 1,400 hours of continuing education credits for school board members in their districts, with topics like Texas School Board Self-Assessment, goal setting, board operating procedures, team transition sessions, social contracts, and eXceptional Governance (XG), among others. The TASB Online Learning Center and live webinars provided trustees with convenient options for trustees to receive board training. In the OLC, trustees completed 3,380 courses. Some of the popular topics for the year were Child Abuse Prevention, Update from the 87th Legislature, and the Texas Open Meetings Act. Board Development Services held 14 webinars with topics directed at board candidates, new board members, board officers, and all board members.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE SERVICES: Community College Services provided legal and policy education and resources to help the colleges respond to several significant legal changes. In addition to the FAQs published on TASB College eLaw, the Community College Services attorneys and policy specialist provided training at several state and regional events. The team also launched a new online course, Texas Open Meetings Act for Community Colleges, available for purchase in the TASB Store and provided through the Online Learning Center.

Community College Services issued two updates to the Community College Policy Reference Manual and the associated local policies. The team began work on two new policy localization projects, bringing the total number of colleges that maintain their board local policies with Community College Services to 41 of the 50 community colleges.

Community College Services also launched the Policy How-To series of tutorials on the Community College Services website. The tutorials serve as an introduction to policy and policy development for college officials and administrators. They join the team’s suite of other publications, including the free, online, monthly newsletter Community College Legal Update and the policy update overview videos issued at each policy update. | December 2022 | 9
Los Fresnos CISD students perform at the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention in September. Photo by TASB Media Services


HR SERVICES: HR Services has worked hard to provide members with new resources to ensure they have the tools needed to meet the challenges of the education job market. Two new administrator guidebooks were developed and published: The Administrator’s Guide to Managing Employee Performance and The Administrator’s Guide to Strategic Staffing. Two new sections were added to our HR Resources to help districts manage educator certification and strategic staffing. In response to numerous requests, an online customer service course, Providing Exceptional Customer Service, was developed and is available now via the TASB OLC.

Additionally, HR Services added 19 new members this year and had a record year in consulting and training, taking on 276 projects — an 18% increase over the previous year. HR Services also saw a 12% increase in TASB HRDataSource™ salary report views.

SPECIAL EDUCATION SOLUTIONS: Throughout the year, the Special Education Solutions team worked tirelessly to migrate all clients to its new documentation system, SMART Solutions™. SMART Solutions offers new tools to reduce provider documentation time, increase district reporting abilities, and better enable administrators to monitor staff productivity. The team also brought on board 18 new, all-inclusive clients.

Special Education Solutions also spent considerable time advocating for Texas school districts in response to the various changes implemented in the School Health and Related Services (SHARS) program. The team has communicated the changes and helped school districts come into compliance using its SHARS Matters e-newsletter, webinar series, client bulletins, and at the 2022 SHARS Conference. This year's conference was conducted virtually and had about 250 attendees.

STUDENT SOLUTIONS: The TASB Student Solutions program membership grew to 272 members in 2021-22, meaning 270 districts and two education service centers now receive products and services from TASB for special population students. This annually renewing membership includes valuable resources, such as special education and Section 504 operating procedures and timely, relevant training opportunities.

Student Solutions continued to support districts in the special populations areas (special education, Section 504, emergent bilingual, gifted and talented) with customized services. This year, Student Solutions increased the number of services provided to districts, including full program reviews, workload staffing analyses, and capacity building, which includes professional development and executive coaching.

FACILITY SERVICES: TASB Facility Services worked with 650 districts on environmental, planning, staffing, and energy projects this year. The new multi-year Planning Membership assists districts with effectively maintaining and planning for the future of their facilities. Membership includes access to the online TASB Facility Dashboard, where districts can see specific information on their facilities and track needed improvements.

Facility Services also made progress on transforming the OnSite Environmental Database into an online portal through which Facility Services’ Environmental Program members will be able to view compliance-related information, such as their asbestos management plans, and other data. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.

BOARDBOOK: BoardBook Premier® is a cloud-based application that simplifies preparing and managing board meeting information. BoardBook prioritizes the customer experience, and its January customer survey revealed an increased satisfaction rating from the previous year. The team published numerous new user guides and tutorials and offered monthly lunchand-learn webinars for customers to get the most out of using the platform. More than 150 people attended the first session about working with committees. A software upgrade in July ushered in several improvements. BoardBook also increased its visibility with a brand explainer video and a LinkedIn account. BoardBook currently has 1,638 customers across North America.


For the 2021-22 fiscal year, Executive Search Services assisted 18 districts in finding a new superintendent. Out of the 18, 6% were large districts, 61% were medium, and 33% were small. Two virtual Mock Interview Workshops were held, one in February and one in July. Both had approximately 20 candidates in attendance. Aside from the Mock Interviews, when requested, the consultants meet with candidates to assist with interview and resume feedback. The ESS team participated in several conferences, including ones held by the Mexican American School Boards Association and the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers as well as TASA Midwinter, Governance Camp, the Summer Leadership Institutes, and the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention. ESS also moved to VidCruiter for application management. This new system allows for a two-part application: written and video interview. The new system gives candidates and board members an easier user experience when going through the search process.

In addition, out of 18 superintendent searches, 10 board presidents responded to an ESS satisfaction survey distributed after the search process. Nine responded as being “very satisfied” with ESS and one was “satisfied.” In addition, the 18 new superintendents were surveyed about the candidate side of the process, which includes applica-

10 | December 2022 |

tions, interviews, and other issues. Five responded and all said they were “very satisfied” with ESS’s process on the candidate side.


BUYBOARD: The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative, or BuyBoard, set another purchasing volume milestone for the 2021-22 year with just over $1.6 billion in purchase volume generated by the Texas Cooperative membership. This was an increase of $222 million over the previous fiscal year. BuyBoard issued $9.8 million in rebates to members for purchases made in the 2021-22 year. Membership in the Cooperative continues to grow, with 55 new members joining the program, for a total membership of 3,072 entities as of Aug. 31, 2022.

TASB RISK MANAGEMENT FUND: The TASB Risk Management Fund remains the largest provider of risk management coverage and services for Texas public school districts. More than 1,000 public school districts and other educational entities participate in one or more Fund programs. This year, 96% of Fund members indicated they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their membership in Fund programs. The staff continues to work to anticipate and respond to members’ needs by providing options to help manage their risks. As part of these efforts, the fund was slated to launch a new website late this year to showcase its services for clients. Also this fall, the Fund launched its first cybersecurity grant to support members’ efforts at improving their cyber resilience.

FIRST PUBLIC: First Public, a subsidiary of TASB, is the administrator of the Lone Star Investment Pool and the TASB Benefits Cooperative, which offer investment and benefits management services to school districts, municipalities, higher education, and other local governments across Texas. Both programs reported exciting growth during the 2021-22 fiscal year.

After much research and hard work, First Public launched a trio of new websites in early 2022 to showcase services and solutions for school districts, local governments, and public entities as part of its ongoing commitment to meet the needs of clients. The new websites for First Public, Lone Star Investment Pool, and TASB Benefits Cooperative are all mobile friendly and include distinct experiences for each line of service, replacing the previous single First Public site.


POOL: The Lone Star Investment Pool reached $15.9 billion in average annual assets, peaking at $20 billion, while continuing to provide competitive investment pool rates for school districts. This was the 11th consecutive year of Lone Star growth and the ninth straight year of reaching a new all-time high in average assets.

TASB BENEFITS COOPERATIVE: The TASB Benefits Cooperative saw overall participation grow to more than 129,000 employee lives insured. This represents several different types of districts that use the Benefits Cooperative for services such as consulting or a portion of benefits administration. The TASB Benefits Cooperative began offering the TASB Benefits Health, Dental, and Vision Plans just as Senate Bill 1444 was signed into law on Sept. 1, 2021. This gives Texas school districts that choose to opt out of TRS-ActiveCare an affordable option to address their employees’ health care needs.


COOPERATIVE: The TASB Energy Cooperative ended the year | December 2022 | 11
Photo by TASB Media Services Attendees enjoy a breakout session at the Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio.

with 214 members in the electricity program and 97 in the fuel program. Thirty members belong to both programs. Electricity volume reached approximately 1,250,000 MWhs and fuel volume consisted of 4,557,655 gallons in fixed-rate purchases and 7,859,755 gallons in rack purchases. Both the electricity and fuel programs had a record year. The Cooperative also successfully completed a fall electricity pool. The Cooperative contacted 132 members for the pool and 72 successfully contracted for electricity, totaling 193,988 MWhs on an annual basis, and 1,151,562 MWhs over the life of the contracts.


GOVERNANCE CAMP: The 2022 Governance Camp returned to fully in-person this year. Held March 2-5, more than 600 attendees, including nearly 200 students, came together to share their stories, learn from each other, and make new friends across the state. It began with dinner and the movie The Pushouts, featuring keynote speaker Victor Rios, a professor, author, and former high school dropout. Campers could attend any of the more than 40 governance and leadership sessions on March 3. The second day was devoted to Student Voice, beginning with the recognition of the five student schol-

arship winners who served on a panel during the opening general session, followed by two dozen Student Voice sessions. New this year was a “pep rally” that featured the student exhibitors in a round-robin style conversation about their educational experience. Lizzie Velasquez, a global motivational speaker, anti-bullying activist, and author, was the closing keynote speaker.

SPRING WORKSHOPS: TASB staff worked with various site coordinators to deliver 14 in-person Spring Workshops between March and May. From El Paso to Wichita Falls, Lubbock to South Padre Island, and many locations in between, more than 900 trustees and administrators from across the state participated and had the opportunity to attend 12 continuing education session topics in their own backyards. The training options included in-depth EISO training and New Board Member Launch. Workshop sessions included:

• Supporting Student Success Through Board Leadership

• How Culturally Proficient Is Your Leadership?

• Restoring Civility to Your Board Room and Community

• Navigating Staffing Challenges

12 | December 2022 |
The 2022 Governance Camp’s Student Voice Scholarship recipients also gave a panel discussion at the March event in Galveston. From left: students Journie Graham, Sofia Diaz, Jackson Turner, Skylar Carr, and Alexa Vela, and moderator Paula Maddox Roalson of Walsh Gallegos. Photo by TASB Media Services

SUMMER LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE (SLI): More than 3,000 new and veteran education leaders had the option of attending SLI in either San Antonio, June 15-18, or Fort Worth, June 29-July 2, to strengthen their governance, leadership, and teamwork skills so they can better serve their communities and improve student outcomes. General session speakers for both locations were Robyn Benincasa, Adolph Brown, and Ravi Hutheesing. At each location, attendees had the opportunity to attend a preconference event that helped them better understand ways to bring everyone in the community together to work on what’s best for all students. The conference also offered the required EISO training.

txEDCON22 TASA | TASB CONVENTION: The largest convening of Texas public education trustees and administrators gathered for txEDCON22 at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, Sept. 23-25. Attendance was strong as the City of San Antonio welcomed Convention attendees back after a 33-year hiatus.

The exhibit hall was buzzing with activity. Attendees helped pack 2,000 hunger and hygiene kits in the Community Service area, which were distributed to local area school districts by United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. This is the fourth year a community give-back

component has been incorporated into Convention, allowing the event to leave a positive footprint in the community where it is held.

Highlights included inspiring presentations by Jon Gordon, New York Times best-selling author; Derrick Johnson, former member of the Texas Longhorns and Kansas City Chiefs football teams and founder and president of Defend the Dream Foundation; and Merlyna Valentine, an award-winning educator, consultant, and motivational speaker. With more than 150 concurrent sessions, attendees had the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of topics, including Leadership, District Culture and Governance Team Development, Policy and Legal, and Safety, Wellness, and Sense of Belonging.

Of those who responded to the txEDCON22 evaluation, 88% indicated they felt better prepared to serve the public schoolchildren of Texas, 93% said they felt energized about working with their board and superintendent, and 93% said they felt inspired to improve student learning in their district. The positive responses were up an average of 7% from 2021. | December 2022 | 13
Attendees at Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio participate in a session activity. Attendees at a session at the TASA | TASB Convention in San Antonio. Photo by TASB Media Services Photo by TASB Media Services


TASB offered numerous in-person events and training opportunities. Since August 2021, more than 55,739 continuing education credit hours have been awarded.

Policy Service processed more than 2,000 district-initiated local updates and completed Policy Review Sessions for 82 districts.

Four new websites were launched to showcase services and solutions and provide an improved online experience.

BuyBoard issued rebates totaling $9.8 million to 1,264 members for purchases made during the year.

The online TASB School Law eSource had 45,949 visitors this past year and added three new topics and made updates to 73 resources.

In addition, the Legal Services team received more than 3,780 calls on a range of topics from school discipline to rules for open meetings.

Executive Search Services helped 18 districts find a new superintendent this past year.

In February, Lone Star Investment Pool hit an all-time high balance of more than $20 billion.

14 | December 2022 |


TASB is proud to offer a range of services and programs to our members.

The TASB Risk Management Fund covers more than $50 billion in school district property and unemployment compensation covers more than 561,000 district employees.

HR Services took on a record 276 projects — an 18% increase over the previous year.

The TASB Student Solutions program membership grew to 272 members in 2021-22.

BuyBoard set another purchasing volume milestone for the 2021-22 year with just over $1.6 billion in purchase volume generated by the Texas Cooperative’s membership.

In 2022, the TASB Energy Cooperative served more megawatt hours of energy than is consumed by the populations of Austin and San Antonio.

The BoardBook Premier® team published new user guides and tutorials and offered monthly lunchand-learn webinars.

The TASB Benefits Cooperative helped 36 Texas school districts — that’s benefits for more than 129,000 lives!

More than 10,000 Texas Lone Star readers have come to depend on the publication for timely in-depth features on hot topics in public education. | December 2022 | 15


TASB Active Members are the boards of Texas public school districts and education service centers. Active Members have voting privileges and access to many benefits. As a nonprofit, TASB is able to provide services to our members with their needs in mind and lessen the burdens of government.


• Assistance from TASB Legal Services staff by phone or via alerts and advisories

• School Law eSource, an online library of legal resources

• On-call assistance through the members’ 800 number on topics related to Texas public education


• Tracking of board training credit through the Continuing Education Credit Reporting System (CECRS) and Member Center

• Member rates on events, including Governance Camp, Summer Leadership Institute, and TASA | TASB Convention

• Access to special training opportunities, such as spring training workshops, webinars, and courses in the Online Learning Center

16 | December 2022 |


• Participation in grassroots advocacy and building TASB’s Advocacy Agenda

• Legislative Advisory Council (LAC), merges regional priorities into a statewide action plan

• Delegate Assembly, annual meeting to consider issues for the Advocacy Agenda, elect TASB leadership, and determine overall direction of the Association

• School Board Advocacy Network, tools, training, and special legislative alerts to assist in advocacy efforts

• Nonpartisan advocacy on behalf of TASB members before the Texas Legislature, the State Board of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and other regulatory agencies (TASB spends less than 20 percent of membership fees on advocacy. Active Member fees paid by education service center boards do not include advocacy.)

• Legislative Report, newsletter providing legislative updates on the state and national levels


• Texans for Strong Public Schools, a public campaign to educate and mobilize advocates to contact lawmakers in support of Texas public schools

• Business Recognition Program, celebrating businesses and organizations that support their local public schools

• Student Video Contest, an opportunity for districts and students to showcase their schools

• School Board Recognition Month, highlighting the importance of school boards in our communities


• Online resources through and the Member Center, offering exclusive content on current public education topics

• TASB Talks, podcast featuring interesting conversations with Texas education experts

• Texas Lone Star, member magazine available in print and online

• The Star, member newsletter providing up-to-the-minute news and deadline information

• Board Update, newsletter focused on topics of interest for trustees

• Board Briefs, newsletter reporting on activities of the TASB Board of Directors

• TASB Store, special member pricing on TASB publications, videos, and gift items

• Opportunities to connect with TASB on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram


Through TASB and its affiliated entities, Active Members have access to an extensive variety of services and products. Some services are priced separately, allowing members to choose the services that best fit their local needs. Members may choose to take advantage of additional feebased programs like Policy Service, HR Services, Special Education Solutions, Student Solutions, and Facility Services. Members also have access to affiliated entity programs, such as the BuyBoard®, TASB Risk Management Fund, Lone Star Investment Pool, TASB Benefits Cooperative, and TASB Energy Cooperative, based on their eligibility criteria. | December 2022 | 17

TASB 2022-23 Officers

The 2022-23 officers for TASB were elected during the Association’s 2022 Delegate Assembly, which was held Sept. 24 in San Antonio.


Gillespie was first elected to the Frisco ISD Board in 2011 and was first elected to the TASB Board in 2014, representing Region 10, Position A. After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, she worked in interior design and fashion merchandising before accepting a job at Dell Corp., where she worked in customer service, configuration management, and policy and procedures. She moved to Frisco with her family in 1995 and became an active community volunteer.

Gillespie was a longtime volunteer with Frisco Family Services and Starwood Neighborhood Association. She was a volunteer and held various officer-level positions in the following organizations: Frisco ISD Council of PTAs, multiple local PTA boards, PTO board, Frisco High School Band Boosters, National Charity League, and Young Men’s Service League. NCL and YMSL gave her and her children the opportunity to serve wonderful organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shoes for Orphan Souls, Operation Kindness, Susan G. Komen, Prison Ministries, Hopes Door, North Texas Food Pantry, and Frisco Miracle League.

She is currently an active volunteer with Frisco Fastpacs and Frisco Women’s League, as well as a vocal advocate in legislative agendas for several local organizations. However, she is most passionate about advocating for public education for all students in Texas.

She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership TASB and a Master Trustee, a member of the LTASB Alumni Association, and an Honorary Life Member of PTA.


Rodriguez is serving his fifth term on the Canutillo ISD Board, where his fellow trustees have elected him as president, vice-president, and secretary. He has the distinction of being one of the youngest people ever to be elected to office in El Paso County. Rodriguez is a Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.

A graduate of Canutillo High School and The University of Texas at El Paso, Rodriguez is one of the founding members of the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education — the only organization specifically designed to award scholarships to Canutillo graduates.

Rodriguez’s work on behalf of students extends beyond El Paso. He is involved with a variety of education and community boards in Texas and nationally. He currently serves on the boards of the National Associa-

18 | December 2022 |

tion of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the National Council of American Indian/Alaska Native School Board Members for the National School Boards Association.

Other previous leadership positions include serving on the NSBA Board of Directors, chair of the National Hispanic Council for NSBA, and secretary of the National School Board Action Center for NSBA. Rodriguez has also served as president of the Mexican American School Boards Association and president of the Far West Texas School Boards Association.

Professionally, he is the business development manager of Hellas Construction, Inc.


Schmidt has served on the Kerrville ISD Board since 1996 and has held the positions of board president, vice-president, and secretary. She is currently the board president.

A graduate of San Jose State University with a bachelor’s in social services, Schmidt is a managing partner in her family-owned-and-operated commercial real estate development and management company.

Before serving as a trustee, she was involved in campus PTOs and was a board member and volunteer for the Kerrville Public School Foundation. Schmidt has been actively involved in local youth education programs, including the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club Foreign Exchange Student Program, Head Start, and the Kerrville ISD sixth-grade outdoor education program. She was named Families and Literacy’s 2014 Champion of Education.


Hopkins has served on the Friendswood ISD Board since 2008 and was elected to his fourth four-year term in 2020. Hopkins currently serves as board president. He is a Leadership TASB graduate and a Master Trustee. Hopkins has served on the TASB Board since March 2018.

Hopkins was the president of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards for 2019–20 and 2020–21 and is active in the TASB grassroots process. He is president of Four Creek Investments LLC, an independent energy consulting and investment firm, and also vicepresident of Modular Plant Solutions, LLC.

Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree at Lamar University and a master’s degree at Rice University.


Hetrick is in her third term on the Dripping Springs ISD Board, currently serving as president. She is a 2017 Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.

She received a bachelor’s in business administration from The University of Texas-Pan American (now UT-Rio Grande Valley), a master’s in public administration and certificate in nonprofit management from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), and a doctorate in public administration and public policy from Auburn University. Hetrick’s professional experience includes working as an adjunct professor for AUM, Troy University, and Austin Community College. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit consulting business.

Active in her community, Hetrick was honored by the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce with the Hometown Hero award in 2020. She serves on the Dripping Springs Education Foundation Board, the Foster Village Board, and is co-founder and vice-president of Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs.


Beard was elected to the Longview ISD Board in 1998 and has served in various capacities, including assistant secretary, secretary, vice-president, and twice as president.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from LeTourneau University. Beard is a retired sergeant major from the United States Army and a combat veteran of Desert Shield/Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He also retired from the Social Security Administration, where he worked as a technical expert and equal employment opportunity counselor.

In 2007, he was appointed to the TASB Risk Management Fund Board and currently serves as chair. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership TASB and a past president and current member of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members. | December 2022 | 19

TASB Board of Directors 2022-23


Jesus Amaya, Los Fresnos CISD


Sylvia Sánchez Garza, South Texas ISD


Moises Alfaro, Mathis ISD


Tami Keeling, Victoria ISD


Georgan Reitmeier, Klein ISD


Darlene Breaux, Alief ISD


Tony Hopkins, Friendswood ISD and TASB Second Vice-President


Myrna Guidry, Houston ISD


Rebecca Fox, Katy ISD


Julie Hinaman, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD


Kristen Davison Malone, Fort Bend ISD


Rose Avalos, Aldine ISD


Nicholas Phillips, Nederland ISD


Beth Prykryl, New Caney ISD


Scott Moore, Conroe ISD


Tony Raymond, Sabine ISD


Thomas Darden, Cooper ISD


Mark Lukert, Wichita Falls ISD


Tricia Ikard, Maypearl ISD


Linda Gooch, Sunnyvale ISD


Dan Micciche, Dallas ISD

Note: The interim Region 19 TASB director will be selected in December 2022.

Mesquite ISD


Julie Cole, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD


Quinton Phillips, Fort Worth ISD


Justin Chapa, Arlington ISD


Steven Newcom, Eagle MountainSaginaw ISD


Mildred Watkins, La Vega ISD


Lynn Boswell, Austin ISD


Mary Jane Hetrick, Dripping Springs ISD and TASB SecretaryTreasurer


Kathy Major, Liberty Hill ISD


Greg Welch, Clyde CISD


Raymond P. Meza, San Felipe Del Rio CISD


Cindy Spanel, Highland Park ISDPotter County


Carlos Bentancourt, Slaton ISD


Steve Brown, Ector County ISD


Rolinda Schmidt, Kerrville ISD and TASB First Vice-President


Karen Freeman, Northside ISD


Robert Westbrook, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD


Terri Williams, North East ISD



Kamlesh Bhikha

20 | December 2022 |


TASB Statement of Activities for the Year

Ending August 31, 2022

TASB has expendable net assets of 43.8% of annual operational expenditures as of Aug. 31, 2022. These figures are subject to Board approval.

REVENUE TASB Membership Fees Risk Management Services First Public Business Services Member Services Policy & Legal Services Communications, Marketing & Events Royalties Other TOTAL REVENUE EXPENSES Employee Compensation and Benefits Purchased and Contract Services Supplies and Materials Other Operating Depreciation and Amortization TOTAL EXPENSES CHANGE IN NET ASSETS FROM OPERATIONS CHANGE IN NET ASSETS NON-OPERATING ACTIVITIES: NET INVESTMENT INCOME 5% 36 9 24 8 8 4 5 1 100% 68% 18 1 8 5 100% $4,513,167 29,440,996 7,109,829 19,497,201 6,787,440 6,669,888 3,232,224 4,516,876 1,051,886 82,819,507 $52,402,879 13,671,963 1,079,764 6,185,393 3,390,677 76,730,696 6,088,831 ($696,163) (6,784,994) PERCENT OF TOTAL PERCENT OF TOTAL | December 2022 | 21


THE UPCOMING 88TH TEXAS LEGISLATIVE SESSION promises to be an active one for public school advocates, with everything from vouchers to school safety to mental health expected to be on the agenda. But no matter what the next session brings, one thing is for certain — Bullard ISD Trustee Stephanie Luper will be there, fighting for public school students and staff across the state.

Luper, who was first elected to the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees in May 2018, has made advocating for public schools — their students and staff — her passion. She was recently named TASB’s 2021-22 Advocate of the Year at the School Board Advocacy Network luncheon, which took place during the TASA | TASB Convention on Sept. 23 in San Antonio.

Luper was selected as Advocate of the Year based on her participation in TASB’s Legislative Advocacy Game, where she logged advocacy activities, such as contacting legislators, speaking to community groups, and testifying at the Capitol on behalf of Texas public schools. As TASB Governmental Relations Division Director Dax González said, “Ms. Luper checked off all the advocacy boxes by doing everything from visiting with legislators and their staff to testifying before a legislative committee. She stands as a shining example of how every single one of us can choose to be the advocate our students deserve.”

Strong public school advocates are needed now more than ever. TASB is proud to share these tips and inspiration from Luper.

Stephanie Luper, a Bullard ISD trustee and TASB’s 2021-22 Advocate of the Year. Photo by Donna Cummings
22 | December 2022 |


From the beginning of my service, I’ve known advocacy is part of the responsibilities of a board member; I just didn’t know how to do it. I had signed up to receive the School Board Advocacy Network (SBAN) emails so I would be informed about the educational issues during the 2021 legislative session. I sent emails when we were alerted to, but the pivotal moment for me was when SBAN sent out a call to action to go to Austin. I went to the Capitol and met all these incredible people who took me under their wings and inspired me to fully embrace all that advocacy had to offer.

There are many issues for which we should advocate; however, I’m most passionate about improving student and staff mental health, school safety, and improving teacher pay and retention. Fixing these issues will positively affect many others, and it’s a great place to start.


One of the challenges smaller rural districts like Bullard face is overcoming the feeling that your voice doesn’t matter and won’t be heard. You’ve got to push that out of your mind and speak up anyway.

I encourage board members to think about their sphere of influence and the spheres of influence those people have. It’s like the old shampoo commercial: you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on.

Let the people who voted for you know about the education bills coming up and how they can help support public schools. As we head into this next legislative session, I’ve been working on establishing texting chains for community members who want to help support public ed. It’s very exciting getting the community involved in a greater capacity this year!


Anyone who’s beginning their journey into advocacy should look for TASB trainings available at live events or through the Online Learning Center and participate in the Legislative Advocacy Game. I really utilized the advocacy game as an activity tracking device. It helps give you a framework to start in and encourages personal accountability for your efforts. In addition, the biggest tip for anyone starting their advocacy journey is: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

I’m so thankful for the Governmental Relations team and Dax González for keeping us so well informed regarding important legislation. They have answered every question I’ve ever asked and offered support every step of the way.

I’m also incredibly thankful for the three women who took me under their wings my first time at the Capitol: [Coppell ISD’s] Tracy Fisher, [Eanes ISD’s] Heather Sheffield, and [Leander ISD’s] Trish Bode. If you’ve never been to the Capitol with them, you must make arrangements to go! It will change your life!


I have so many hopes for Texas public schools, but my biggest is the hope that our legislators will remember the importance of public schools, and their constitutional duty to support them. It’s time to make a serious commitment to the fortification of public education, instead of letting it suffer slow degradation.


I’ve always known that access to quality public education has the ability to change the trajectory of a person’s life and transform the outlook of future generations. As an Italian immigrant, it was in public school where my grandfather learned to speak English. He always told us to value our education, and he would have been so proud seeing his great-granddaughter {Luper’s daughter} become the first doctor in our family. That journey doesn’t happen without access to quality public education. So there’s a large part of me that knows I’m honoring my family history and the journey of the immigrant every time I speak out to help improve public schools.

There’s no other institution that has as great of a life-changing impact as public education. Our children deserve the best public schools we can provide because they are the most precious resource we have, and they’re worth fighting for.H | December 2022 | 23
Leslie Trahan is a staff writer for Texas Lone Star. —Stephanie Luper, Advocate of the Year

Game participants.


(10,000+ POINTS)

Winford Adams, Spring ISD

Jerry Adkins, Brazosport ISD

Trish Bode, Leander ISD

Richard Clem, Goose Creek CISD

Camille Eckersley, Bluff Dale ISD

Ginger Friesenhahn, East Central ISD

Bryan Holubec, Thrall ISD

Alex Kotara, Karnes City ISD

Stephanie Luper, Bullard ISD*

Alma Martinez, La Feria ISD

Paula McDonald, Granbury ISD

Suzette Mendoza, San Vicente ISD

Scott Moore, Conroe ISD

Margarita Morales, Southside ISD

Monique Presas, East Central ISD

Anna Smith, Leander ISD


(6,000–9,999 POINTS)

Bret Baldwin, Victoria ISD

Amanda Brown, River Road ISD

Jessica Davila-Burnett, Boerne ISD

Diana Freeman, Hamilton ISD

Elexis Grimes, Leander ISD

Dallon James, Port-Neches Groves ISD

Julie McGehee, Idalou ISD

Tracy Scott Miller, Lewisville ISD

Scott Regan, Forney ISD

Robert Seward, Mesquite ISD

Heather Sheffield, Eanes ISD

Jaclyn Sustaita, Weslaco ISD

Cory Vessa, Round Rock ISD

Gary Vineyard, Midlothian ISD

Helen Warwick, Marshall ISD


(2,500–5,999 POINTS)

Joni Atha, Dalhart ISD

Bryan Barker, Athens ISD

Claudia Barrientos, East Central ISD

William Boaz, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD

William Booher, Laneville ISD

Stormy Bradley, Coahoma ISD

Ninfa Cadena, Carrizo Springs CISD

Crystal Carbone, Pearland ISD

24 | December 2022 |
TASB also wants to thank all of the 2021-22 Advocacy

Jennifer Champagne, Eanes ISD

Laura Clark, Eanes ISD

Shelli Conway, Anna ISD

Ana Cortez, Manor ISD

Amber Dady-Crafton, Venus ISD

Thomas Darden, Cooper ISD

Adam Duey, Henderson ISD

Mike Edwards, Chapel Hill ISD-Titus County

Sade Fashokun, Leander ISD

Rick Garcia, Fort Bend ISD

Cindy Gee, Pflugerville ISD

Debbie Gillespie, Frisco ISD

Amy Gnadt, Allen ISD

Eduardo Gonzalez, Midlothian ISD

Linda Gooch, Sunnyvale ISD

Don Green, Somerset ISD

Carrie Gregory, Gregory-Portland ISD

Heather Harris, Douglass ISD

Ann Heuberger, Del Valle ISD

Ken Holland, Huntsville ISD

Sara Holloway-Hunton, Ponder ISD

Jason Howard, Goliad ISD

Tobi Jackson, Fort Worth ISD

Ty G Jones, Lancaster ISD

Yolanda Jurado, Marfa ISD

James Kersh, Lumberton ISD

Scott Koehler, Decatur ISD

Allen Lambright, Trenton ISD

KeaLynn Lewis, Crosby ISD

Emily Liles, Grand Prairie ISD

Cindy Lotton, Keller ISD

Tammie Mann-Chrisman, Valley Mills ISD

Aaron Martinez, Tyler ISD

Jean Mayer, Pflugerville ISD

Donald McDonald, Kountze ISD

Vernagene Mott, Pflugerville ISD

Dan Muirhead, Splendora ISD

Francisco Oaxaca, McKinney ISD

Brenda Olivarez, Southside ISD

Vanessa Pacheco, Richardson ISD

Christine Parker, Humble ISD

Matthew Pearson, Ore City ISD

TJ Penn, Rochelle ISD

Rufus Quintanilla, Clyde CISD

Pamela Raney, Overton ISD

Rusty Ratliff, Sanford-Fritch ISD

Jamie Rios, Runge ISD

Jennifer Rodriguez, Judson ISD

Kevin Sawyer, Highland Park ISD-Potter County

Rolinda Schmidt, Kerrville ISD

Eric Schneck, Borger ISD

John Schuman, Dime Box ISD

Charmayne Scott, Bonham ISD

Johnny Smecca, Galveston ISD

Steve Sprowls, Northwest ISD

Chad Steely, Elkhart ISD

Matt Stephens, Bells ISD

Desiree Thomas, Mansfield ISD

Eloy Vera, La Pryor ISD

Diane Sciba Villarreal, North East ISD

Theresa Wagaman, Conroe ISD

Camile White, Dallas ISD

Lauren White, Lake Travis ISD

Temika Whitfield, Lancaster ISD

Colin Witt, Midway ISD-McLennan County

Brad Yurcho, Henrietta ISD

Pamela Young, Loop ISD

AlexAndrea Zamarripa, Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD

*Stephanie Luper was named 2021-22 Advocate of the Year. | December 2022 | 25


Delegates from districts across the state adopted TASB’s 2022-24 Advocacy Agenda at the TASA | TASB Convention. Members of the Delegate Assembly adopted a new TASB Cornerstone Principle, 11 priorities, and 75 resolutions at the Sept. 24 meeting in San Antonio. The Advocacy Agenda will remain effective until the 2024 Delegate Assembly adopts the next one, and the 2023 Assembly will have the opportunity to amend the agenda after the 2023 legislative session.


• Excellence in student achievement for all Texas students and fair accountability for academic progress.

• Locally elected trustees and locally governed and controlled public schools.

• Safe and secure schools that foster the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of students and staff.

• Adequate and equitable funding levels to provide an exceptional education in a safe environment.

• Efficient and effective school management.

• Strong family and community engagement to create optimal opportunities for each child.

• Fulfillment of public schools’ unique constitutional duty to educate every child by preventing the diversion of public funds through vouchers, tax credits, education savings grants, and other mechanisms.

• Promotion of equity, intentional eradication of systemic racism, and the recognition of all cultures and races that have contributed to the rich history of Texas and the United States to include support for diversity and cultural awareness initiatives throughout the state.


As adopted by the TASB Delegate Assembly, Sept. 24, 2022

Teacher Recruitment and Retention

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to provide additional state funding to help elevate the profession of teaching by providing more substantial financial aid and other programs to incentivize students to enter the field, increasing educator and staff compensation, improving staff health and retirement benefits, and decreasing the burdensome mandates that increase an educator’s workload.

Student and Staff Mental Health

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to improve access to evidence-based mental health services and mental health professionals either within a district or a collaborative network. At the same time, the Legislature should reduce the burden on educators and districts to identify and solve student mental health issues.


TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to prevent any transfer of public funds using vouchers, education savings accounts, or corporate tax credits to private schools or individuals, including the expansion of virtual instruction by corporations.

State Accountability

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to expand opportunities for locally determined accountability frameworks; to continue to reduce mandatory state assessments by eliminating those not required by federal law; to remove the high stakes inherent in the A-F rating system and assessments that impact students, teachers, and schools; to reduce the time students spend taking state tests; and to prohibit standardized tests from serving as the primary indicator of school and student performance.

School Finance

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to update the school finance system and basic allotment — using student enrollment and taking into account regional cost differences — to more equitably distribute future funding, reduce recapture payments, increase funding for student education and teacher compensation, and provide automatic property tax relief for taxpayers; in addition, any and all excess “revenue in excess of entitlement” must be returned to the basic allotment and not into the general fund or other fund not benefitting traditional public education.

School Facilities

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to recognize the disparities in property values and adequately fund and update the state’s current facilities programs or create a statewide funding mechanism to assist school districts with building new facilities that accommodate student enrollment changes, reduce the need for additional debt, and renovate aging facilities with safe and efficient buildings that are conducive to meeting the needs of students in a modern classroom.

Ballot Language Honesty

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to allow school district bond and voter-approved tax ratification propositions to include ballot language that accurately informs voters of what the measure seeks to accomplish.

Restoring Local Control

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to remove existing statutes and prevent new legislation that grants unelected state officials and executive agency staff discretion over how to implement legislation, thereby providing more clarity regarding state law as well as preserving the governance structure of local school boards.

Parental Partnerships

TASB embraces parents as partners with educators, administrators, and school trustees in their children’s education as outlined in Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code and encourages productive engagement between them without undue involvement from the state.

Charter Schools

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to restrict the expansion of charter schools and to reduce the impact charter schools and other educational institutions receiving public funds have on the state budget and local public schools by limiting funding to a rate no higher than that of local districts. The Legislature should increase the transparency and accountability of charter schools and other educational institutions receiving public funds, especially with regard to student enrollment processes/ recruitment, student expulsion practices, business operations, and expenditures.

Preventing Community Censorship

TASB supports the statutory duty and right of local school boards to advocate and associate for the educational needs of all students and communities.


As adopted by the TASB Delegate Assembly, Sept. 24, 2022

Accountability and Assessment

TASB advocates for an accountability system in which districts that have demonstrated sustained academic excellence over a period of time are able to opt out of state mandates.

TASB advocates for an accountability system that does not apply the same sanctions to campuses and districts that receive a D rating over three consecutive years as the sanctions applied to F-rated campuses.

TASB advocates for an accountability system in which the Texas Education Agency informs school districts about accountability standards no later than the beginning of the school year in which the standards are to be applied.

TASB advocates for an accountability system that includes a college, career, and military readiness indicator for middle school.

TASB advocates for a statewide work group to develop a new accountability system that appropriately measures all factors of an effective education and makes use of the options and flexibility offered by the Every Student Succeeds Act. | December 2022 | 27
The TASB Delegate Assembly was held during txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention in San Antonio. Photo by TASB Media Services

TASB opposes providing funding or bonuses to school districts under the Foundation School Program on the basis of students’ performance on a statewide test.

TASB advocates for district flexibility in online testing to allow for local STAAR placement committees to make determinations based on individual students and district needs.

TASB advocates for allowing students to test in their native language.

TASB advocates for recalibrating statewide accountability to create an equitable and accurate accountability system that accounts for the long-term impact of the pandemic and monitors student progress.

Charter Schools and Privatization of Public Education

TASB advocates for legislation that would authorize the State Board of Education to exercise veto authority over charter expansions approved by the commissioner of education.

TASB advocates for legislation that excludes charter schools with an enrollment of 5,000 or more from receiving the small- and mid-size school allotment.

TASB advocates for the requirement that any school using the term “public school” in their name or in any description of their organization (1) must be governed by a locally elected board of trustees and (2) before spending any money acquired from the state on capital improvement projects, must gain the support of the residents of the local school district where those improvements are planned through a local ballot initiative.

TASB advocates for a process for considering school capacity when a new charter application or expansion amendment is submitted to prevent oversaturation in a particular geographic area.

TASB advocates for legislation that prevents the use of the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds with a low underlying rating.

Disaster Recovery

TASB advocates for flexibility in accountability and funding issues related to natural disasters, such as waivers, property tax calculations, and attendance hold-harmless provisions.

TASB advocates for disaster response.


TASB calls upon the commissioner of education, State Board of Education, and Texas Education Agency to collaborate with public education stakeholders when drafting legislation and rules to enact policy that is in the best interest of students and schools.

TASB opposes legislation that increases ballot language requirements, limits dates upon which elections may be held, or creates additional requirements for voter-approved tax rate elections and bond elections, such as voter turnout thresholds.

TASB advocates for legislation that protects school

district fund balances.

TASB advocates for the extension of Chapter 313 of the tax code.

TASB advocates for a statutory rate for electricity for school districts.

TASB advocates for legislation that reviews modifications made to the state maximum compressed tax rate outlined in House Bill 3 (86th Regular Session).

TASB opposes adding measures or initiatives that would designate use of Foundation School Program funding for mandated programs thereby lessening local discretionary funding per pupil.

TASB advocates for legislation requiring a study on the true cost of educating all students and should include the cost of complying with state mandates.

TASB advocates for the school district’s ability to provide accurate and timely taxable value information to the Texas Education Agency in setting the maintenance-and-operations (M&O) maximum compressed tax rate for the corresponding tax year.

TASB advocates for districts to maintain local control over all facets of their districts, including virtual education opportunities.

TASB advocates for the protection of the district of innovation law.

TASB advocates for legislation that will allow local districts to oversee the operation of all schools, including those labeled “improvement required.”

TASB advocates for legislation that will ensure the authority to make decisions regarding district consolidation will remain with local school districts.

TASB advocates for the state of Texas to grant independent school districts the power to decide if their elections should take place on the November uniform election date or the May uniform election date.

Instructional Materials and Curriculum

TASB advocates for increased funding for the Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment.

TASB calls upon the Texas Legislature to require that the State Board of Education streamline the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to limit standards for each subject at each grade level to what can be taught prior to state-mandated tests within the given school year.

TASB advocates for districts to focus on teaching objective, fact-based Texas and American history.

TASB advocates for continued prohibition of critical race theory in all K-12 classrooms and curriculum.

TASB advocates that all students have access to age-appropriate curriculum, books, and materials that are representative of their stories and history.

Public School Finance

TASB advocates for sustained funding of the school finance system.

TASB advocates for a cost-of-living index to be added to the school district funding formula based upon residential home valuations within the district.

28 | December 2022 |

TASB advocates for a formula-driven mechanism, or index, to be implemented annually, to increase the basic allotment to keep up with the additional inflationary pressures in public schools.

TASB advocates for bridging the gap with extra supplement Student Success Initiative and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.

TASB advocates for reinstating the Cost of Education Index.

TASB advocates for a plan to increase school funding over time to provide an amount by 2030 that equals, at a minimum, the national per-student funding average.

TASB advocates requiring all recapture dollars be spent on education and ending the practice of the state supplanting its investment in education with recapture dollars.

TASB advocates for including non-district-enrolled students (e.g. private, charter, or home-schooled) receiving special education or other district-provided services in a district’s average daily attendance calculation as a fulltime student for the purposes of calculating a district’s Chapter 49 recapture payment.

TASB advocates for legislation that increases funding for facilities through the Existing Debt Allotment, Instructional Facilities Allotment, and New Instructional

Facilities Allotment by including a higher percentage of students and ensuring that funding is provided for fastgrowth districts and those that are still paying down debt from fast-growth years in the recent past.

TASB advocates for legislation that would ensure that all federal funding for Texas schools reaches Texas schools as intended, without interference or delay from the state, and prohibit the use of such funds to supplant state funding obligations.

TASB advocates for the utilization of a portion of the state’s budget surplus to provide one-time grants to extend the lives of successful school programs created through the use of federal COVID-19 relief funds, which will otherwise expire due to lack of sustained funding.

School Safety

TASB advocates for additional resources for school security and student safety.

TASB advocates for legislation that requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to make available to school districts information regarding Texas firearm storage laws and best practices that may be distributed to all families at the beginning of each school year.

TASB advocates for legislation maintaining that locally elected boards of trustees have discretion over the | December 2022 | 29
Delegates at the TASB Delegate Assembly on Sept. 24 in San Antonio. Photo by TASB Media Services

spending of any additional funding dedicated to school safety and security.

TASB advocates for legislation affording school districts explicit authority to determine appropriate disciplinary action, including tiered response for repeat offenses and substance abuse treatment support, for students found in possession of THC.

TASB advocates for local police departments or school resource officers to have the authority to write a citation for certain activities on campus, in particular vaping tobacco or other substances or the possession of tobacco, e-cigarettes, or any component, part, or accessory for the e-cigarette.

Student Issues

TASB advocates for full funding for statewide, universal, high-quality, full-day prekindergarten programs to include transportation, facilities, and strengthen mixed delivery programs made in partnership with public school districts for pre-K 3 and pre-K 4.

TASB advocates for increasing special education funding.

TASB advocates for the official state definition and tracking of long-term English language learners.

TASB advocates for a study to determine whether the current law providing transportation funding for students living more than two miles from campus should be adjusted.

TASB advocates for legislation requiring universal vision and hearing screening for public school students in high school, as well as the resources to conduct the screenings.

TASB advocates for policies that reduce the use of exclusionary discipline and that keep students in school whenever possible instead of disciplinary placements in alternative programs or juvenile justice facilities.

TASB advocates for the continued funding of public education for all children living in the state regardless of immigration status.

TASB advocates for investments in expanding highspeed broadband internet access across Texas to include free public Wi-Fi options in our communities.

TASB advocates for adequate funding and support of poverty reduction strategies, including policies that aim to meet the basic needs of children and families and provide economic security through a robust safety net including, but not limited to, food assistance, adult education programming, job training, and access to affordable childcare, healthcare, housing, and transportation.

TASB advocates for supplemental funding that will address the impact the 2020 Census undercount will have on school funding, with a particular emphasis on compensatory education and at-risk student populations that may be underrepresented by inaccurate census block data.

Teacher and Staff Issues

TASB advocates for meaningful certification requirements that ensure students receiving both bilingual and special education services receive a free, appropriate public education while allowing self-contained units and specialized support settings the flexibility to meet their enrolled students’ needs without creating additional staffing burdens.

TASB advocates for the development of higher education incentive programs and state agency grants to recruit and prepare licensed professional counselors, preferably bilingual, to meet the needs of students and staff.

TASB advocates for the revision of House Bill 4545 (87th Regular Session).

TASB advocates for a cost-of-living adjustment for Teacher Retirement System retirees.

TASB advocates for a teacher housing allotment based on a sliding scale of the cost of housing in a district, earmarked as a supplement to teacher compensation.

TASB advocates for the extension of the educator certification waiver created by the exodus of teachers leaving the profession and the teacher shortage.

TASB advocates all retired school personnel be authorized to substitute in a vacant position for up to 90 school days instead of the current 20.

TASB advocates for adequate funding to provide students more robust college and career counseling by reducing the counselor-to-student ratio.

TASB advocates for the Legislature to allow more time for the completion of Reading Academies and the ability for districts to provide the corresponding training.

TASB advocates for Texas to partner with districts to establish a K-12 teacher apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

TASB advocates for a school funding weight that is fully funded by the state to increase the basic allotment for the purpose of adjusting full-time, district employee compensation to account for inflation and the rising cost of living.

TASB advocates for legislation requiring that any additional training courses for teachers and district staff include a fiscal note and, likewise, advocates for the establishment of an allotment to compensate teachers and staff for their time.

TASB advocates for the expansion of the COVID-19 Surge Personnel Exception to allow any Teacher Retirement System retiree to return to work full time in any vacant position, funded locally or federally, and for extension of the required termination date to December 31, 2026.

TASB advocates for legislation that requires that local boards of trustees have discretion over the spending of any additional funding dedicated to compensation of district staff.

30 | December 2022 |

TASB applauds 100% attendance teams at txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention

TASB congratulates and recognizes the following school districts for having 100% of their leadership teams attend the TASA | TASB Convention in San Antonio this year. | December 2022 | 31 Academy ISD • Alamo Heights ISD • Aldine ISD • Alice ISD • Allen ISD • Alvarado ISD Aransas County ISD • Belton ISD • Blue Ridge ISD • Boerne ISD • Bridge City ISD • Bryan ISD • Calvert ISD Canadian ISD • Chilton ISD • China Springs ISD • College Station ISD • Corpus Christi ISD • Crockett ISD Cypress-Fairbanks ISD • Deer Park ISD • Driscoll ISD • Eastland ISD • Ector County ISD • Ector ISD • Elgin ISD Florence ISD • Fort Hancock ISD • Goose Creek CISD • Harlingen CISD • Hawkins ISD Highland Park ISD-Potter County • Judson ISD • Kermit ISD • Krum ISD • Levelland ISD • Lorenzo ISD Lubbock-Cooper ISD • Marlin ISD • McGregor ISD • Midlothian ISD • Miles ISD • Milford ISD • Nederland ISD North East ISD • Northside ISD • Northwest ISD • Pewitt CISD • Ponder ISD • Poteet ISD • Robinson ISD Roosevelt ISD • Round Rock ISD • Sabine ISD • San Felipe Del Rio CISD • San Vicente ISD • Santa Maria ISD Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD • Shepherd ISD • Southwest ISD • Stafford Municipal School District Sweetwater ISD • Taylor ISD • Tomball ISD • Tornillo ISD • Troy ISD • White Settlement ISD • Zapata County ISD
Goose Creek CISD was one of the many districts recognized for having of its leadership team attend the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention in San Antonio. Photo
by TASB Media Services


Meaningful Discussions Highlight Group's First Meeting

• Provide mentoring and networking

• Provide peer-level resources

• Increase personal involvement

• Heighten knowledge and influence policy at the state and federal levels

MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS, INFORMATIVE SESSIONS, AND INTUITIVE LEARNING dominated the first session of the new Leadership TASB Class of 2023.

The 26 members of the new LTASB class met for the first time in September in San Antonio at the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention. Class members are trustees who represent districts ranging from 229 enrolled students to more than 66,000 students. Altogether, our class represents about 340,000 students. These dynamic districts span the state, from West Texas to the Gulf Coast.

LTASB is a unique board development program that takes experienced board members to a new level of service and leadership through a variety of activities and experiences during a year-long program. Participants have demonstrated leadership in their local districts and communities.

The LTASB class will meet four more times over the next nine months to learn, grow, and develop leadership skills. At the end of the year, we will graduate as Master Trustees.

The overall goals of LTASB include:

• Challenge, develop, and support leaders

The first day of LTASB 2023 included the opportunity to gather, get to know each other, and discuss the upcoming year. Trustees also had a front-row seat to the Convention’s celebration of students and outstanding leadership awards.

On the second day, Ted Beard, a Longview ISD trustee and immediate past president of TASB, welcomed the new class. Debra Fine, author of The Art of Small Talk, led the group through an interactive and engaging session on how meaningful conversation can build rapport and trust. Improving communication skills is a key area of investment for successful trustees.

The afternoon featured discussions on Enrique Alemán Jr.’s film, Stolen Education , a historical documentary about Mexican American children involved in a federal court case to end discriminatory practices in Texas schools in the mid-1950s.

The third and final day began with a recap of the previous day and intense feedback and discussion of current topics that face Texas trustees. From these topics, trustees determined group projects that will be a focus of capstone projects throughout the coming sessions. Trustees then had the opportunity to be part of their regional Delegate Assembly, either as a participant or an alternate, to determine TASB’s legislative priorities for the upcoming 88th Texas legislative session, which begins in January.

Camaraderie, leadership challenges, and opportunities to learn and grow filled the first session of LTASB 2023, and the class is looking forward to working collaboratively for all Texas public schoolchildren!H

32 | December 2022 |
Polly Montgomery, an Allen ISD trustee, is a member of the 2022-23 LTASB class. The new LTASB class gathered in San Antonio this fall at the txEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention. Photo by Brenda Nagelhout-Olivarez

2023 Leadership TASB Class

2023 LEADERSHIP TASB CLASS | December 2022 | 33
1. René Archambault Frisco ISD 2. Robin Bachert Burkburnett ISD 3. William “Randy” Bates, Jr. Aldine ISD 4. Shandreka “Shan” Bauer Longview ISD 5. Florinda “Flo” Bernal Southwest ISD 6. Adam Duey Henderson ISD 7. Amy English Hutto ISD 8. Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia Leander ISD 9. Cassandra Hatfield Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD 10. Philip Henderson, Sr. Wharton ISD 11. Elizabeth King Trinity ISD 12. Denny Kramer Lorena ISD 13. Creg Mixon New Caney ISD 14. Polly Montgomery Allen ISD 15. Derik Moore Grandview ISD 16. Brenda Nagelhout-Olivarez Southside ISD 17. Megan Parsons Liberty Hill ISD 18. Raymond Patterson White Settlement ISD 19. Ralph Ramon Snyder ISD 20. Belinda Reininger Harlingen CISD 21. Niki Rhodes Friendswood ISD 22. Jamie Rios Runge ISD 23. Jennifer Roach Crosby ISD 24. James Spradley Eanes ISD 25. Christopher Stanley Ector County ISD
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
26. Dee Anne Thomson La Porte ISD



enhanced, expanded services for our members

SERVING. LEADING. ADVOCATING. These powerful words reflect the commitment and hard work that you, our members, demonstrated throughout the past year as you guided your districts amid post-pandemic challenges and the growing attacks on public education.

I know I speak for everyone at TASB when I say we are truly honored to be with you in the important work of ensuring the best education possible for the more than 5.4 million public schoolchildren across Texas. We are your partner, advocate, cheerleader, advisor, and shoulder to lean on.

We are committed to making sure that TASB remains a vital source of training, information, and support for school district leaders across the state — whether it be in person, over the phone, via email, or virtually.

I am proud to report that TASB posted many accomplishments this past year as we enhanced and expanded services for our members.

We provided a wide range of training and educational opportunities, in person and virtually. We published informative guidebooks, newsletters, and tutorials, fielded thousands of calls seeking guidance and advice, and traveled the state to provide in-person training, among other things.

Knowing the importance of the online experience, we launched several new websites to better showcase those divisions’ services as part of our ongoing commitment to provide a digital experience for our members that is more intuitive and comprehensive. I’m excited that this work

will continue next year with a major project to redesign to include a more modern design, improved navigation, and easier access to information.

We started off the year with boots on the ground across the state as our Government Relations team met with hundreds of trustees at regional Grassroots Meetings to hear their concerns and gather their input on what TASB’s advocacy priorities should be for the 88th Texas Legislature, which starts next month. The work that began in these meetings ultimately led to the development of the Advocacy Agenda, which was formally approved by the Delegate Assembly in September at the teEDCON22 TASA | TASB Convention. See page 26 to read the full list of cornerstone principles, priorities, and resolutions.

I want to thank all of the trustees who helped develop the Advocacy Agenda, which will guide TASB’s advocacy efforts over the next two years. I know it’s an additional sacrifice you made to help improve public education for all students, and I’m grateful for your efforts.

Advocating for our members will be a top priority for TASB next year during the legislative session. We will likely have a tough session ahead, but we are prepared to fight for your students because we all know there is nothing more important to this state than having a strong public education system.

I became executive director of this tremendous organization a little more than a year ago, and I continue to be in awe of the more than 7,000 Texas trustees across the state who volunteer their time on behalf of the stu-


dents and families in their communities. Here at TASB, we will stand with you — Texas school leaders — in urban, suburban, and rural districts of all sizes.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. I know it’s a busy time of year, but it’s also a joyful time full of special events that showcase the amazing talents of our students.

I also want to note that I am thinking of our friends at Uvalde CISD, where the upcoming holidays will be a difficult time for the families and friends of the 19 students and two teachers who were killed May 24 at Robb Elementary School. We continue to ache for their terrible loss and hope they may find some moment of peace this season.

To all of our members across the state, I am grateful for everything you do for the public schoolchildren of Texas.H | December 2022 | 35
Dan Troxell is executive director of TASB. TASB Executive Director Dan Troxell addresses TASB staff at the State of the Association in April. —Dan Troxell, TASB Executive Director
” ,
Photo by TASB Media Services







Association of School Boards P.O. Box 400 Austin, Texas 78767-0400
Check the TASB Events calendar at for the Association’s full list of events and training opportunities in 2023.
School Board Recognition Month Governance Camp
by TASB Media Services
(Galveston) SHARS 2023 (Austin) Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) txEDCON23 TASA | TASB Convention (Dallas) TASB Delegate Assembly (Dallas)
MAY 4-5
Superintendent of the Year Nominations
TASB Conference for Administrative Professionals (Austin) Texas Federal Advocacy Conference (Washington, D.C.) 2023 TASA | TASB Legislative Conference (Austin) SAN ANTONIO FORT WORTH SAN ANTONIO JUNE 14-17
29 - OCTOBER 1
SEPTEMBER 30 FORT WORTH JUNE 21-24 District leaders gathered in Fort Worth for the second Summer Leadership Institute.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.