Good Reason Houston Hosts Webinar with TX State Reps Dutton & Cunningham

HOUSTON – February 29, 2024 – Good Reason Houston, a nonprofit founded to ensure that every child, in every neighborhood, excels in a world-class public school, hosted a legislative panel with Texas State Representatives Harold Dutton and Charles Cunningham on Wednesday, February 28 to discuss Texas education policy. The webinar, open to the public and titled “A Houston-Area Perspective on Texas Education Policy,” covered the challenges facing school districts today and how both representatives are preparing for the 2025 session.

“Houston-Area public schools face unique hurdles in meeting the needs of a highly diverse student population,” said Cary Wright, Good Reason Houston Executive Director. “Our local elected leaders continue to grapple with these barriers paired with broader issues like a state-wide teacher shortage and enrollment decline, and we thank them not only for their time yesterday during our webinar but for all they do to advocate for Houston-area schools.”

Highlights from the session included Dutton and Cunningham discussing:

  • The need for high-quality early education, especially for reading and math, to ensure students have the foundation for success.
  • How the Legislature is evaluating the most effective ways to direct resources to classrooms, providing teachers with the support they need to drive instruction.
  • Policy options to better align programming in public schools with workforce needs to better prepare students for both college and direct careers.

“In Northeast Houston, there are 30 elementary schools. And when you look at what the average reading scores for third graders are, you’re probably talking somewhere around 30,” said Texas State Representatives Harold Dutton. “That’s a tragedy. Because as we all know, from pre-K to third grade you learn to read. After that, you read to learn. And if you never learned to read, you don’t ever get to read to learn.”

“Over the last at least two months, I visited every school district in my district. All the districts are facing some type of challenges, deficits. We are going to have to look at efficiencies throughout the district,” said with Texas State Representative Charles Cunningham. “Because when we look at where the basic allotment is at now and I do see it being raised, one of the things that we are going to have to do is emphasize that more than just a percentage of that money goes to teaching. We want the money to be able to say we are educating our children.”

Good Reason Houston’s mission is to increase the number of students learning in great public schools, while the organization’s vision is that every child, in every neighborhood, excels in a world-class public school and thrives in the Houston of tomorrow. They focus on improving public schools, sharing data, building coalitions, empowering parents and advocating for students. For more information visit: goodreasonhouston.org.

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