Today, after listening at an unparalleled candidate forum, Sarah and I donated to two different Houston ISD trustee campaigns (Ms. Juliet Stipeche, Dr. Ann McCoy), and we encourage you to do the same.
Our own trustee seat isn’t up for election this year and maybe you’re one of our countless friends afar who don’t have anything to do with Houston or Houston ISD, but this November’s election isn’t just about our own representatives, it’s about a once-in-a-decade opportunity to influence who is put in charge of Texas’ largest school district — 29,000 employees, 215,000 students, 285 schools with a $1.7 billion operating budget. With four of nine seats on a single school board up for election, there is a singular opportunity here to change the tide of education reform in Texas and weigh in on a national movement. And these four elections will be won or lost on budgets of just tens of thousands of dollars — not the hundreds of millions for state and national races.
Imagine what we could do with the right team of trustees willing to act in the fourth largest school district in the country — with those that have a vision for comprehensive neighborhood schools for every child, with those that have such a respect for the profession of teaching that they know it can’t be reduced to a simple equation, with those that have the critical thinking to not only approve policy but to create it, and with those who have the fortitude to see our campuses rebuilt from the ground up for the next century of students. With trustees like this, Houston ISD could be the urban school district that leads the nation back from the depths of corporate education reform and from the brink of privatizing of our public schools.
All politics is local. If you’re passionate about children and the fact that quality education is at the heart of reforming every other part of our society, then consider getting involved in this particular local election. Your vote, your voice, your volunteerism and your very impactful dollars can matter here. Get involved, and if you can, tangibly back these candidates that we believe will make a difference.