SBISD Principals Visit Capitol

Spring Branch ISD principals visit local legislators at Capitol

In Austin for a Raise Your Hand Texas conference, a group of principals from Spring Branch ISD spent an afternoon at the Texas Capitol calling on members of the local legislative delegation.

The principals -- Nancy Harn of Rummel Creek Elementary, Robye Snyder of Hunters Creek Elementary, Stefanie Spencer of Sherwood Elementary, Pam Redd of Meadow Wood Elementary, Lynn Austin of Thornwood Elementary, Karen Liska of Spring Woods Middle School, and Jennifer Parker of Spring Woods High School -- on Wednesday, Feb. 4, met with legislators and staff members and distributed printed material that Spring Branch ISD, the challenges the district faces and how the Legislature could help the district overcome those challenges.

From left: Nancy Harn, Robye Snyder, Stefanie Spencer, 
Pam Redd, Lynn Austin, Karen Liska and Jennifer Parker.
The principals report that legislators were gracious and appreciative of their visit, and sympathetic but honest of the funding situation facing Spring Branch ISD. The principals said they appreciated the experience and that each left with a better understanding of the people behind the work that takes place at the Capitol.

The group met with local legislators Rep. Jim Murphy, Rep. Dwayne Bohac, Sen. Paul Bettencourt, Sen. John Whitmire and Sen. Joan Huffman, and also met with Rep. Celia Garcia and Rep. Morgan Meyer. And they left SBISD literature with Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock’s office. Aycock is chair of the House Public Education Committee.

They talked with legislators about Spring Branch ISD’s funding dilemma of being a property wealthy district but serving a student population of which 57 percent quality for free or reduced lunch. The principals said they heard many times about “80/20” – the 80 percent of school districts that receive additional state funding that outnumber the 20 percent who lose state funding because of their property wealth. Spring Branch ISD, a property wealthy district, is in the 20 percent.

They also talked about testing and accountability. Robye Snyder shared an email with Murphy received that morning from a parent of a third-grader who melted down the day before because she was feeling “dumb and defeated” with all the testing, NRTs, then practice STAAR – and the actual STAAR still to be taken.  

Snyder said that the group of principals enjoyed their visits and want to stay involved in this kind of work.

The group was featured in Murphy’s Capital Update newsletter.

Click here for a district map of local legislators, and how to contact them.

Posted at 4:04 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2015


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