Uniting for Change: What’s Next for Houston Education Coalition

By Belinda Moreira

Director of Advocacy

Since 2020, the pandemic has negatively impacted opportunity gaps, access to resources, and social needs across our nation. Now, we are seeing an increase in youth mental health crises, an unprecedented rate of teachers leaving the education profession, and families that have yet to see their educational needs fulfilled due to the lack of transparency around school data, language barriers, and other social services. 

Citywide Issues Assembly

In response to these growing needs, the Citywide Coalition on Education, consisting of Good Reason HoustonLeadership for Educational EquityEdTrust, and Latinos for Education, hosted the Citywide Issues Assembly on Educationin February. 

The issues assembly – the first in more than 5 years, since 2017 – brought together hundreds of attendees, including students, parents, educators, school leaders, and education advocates. Participants spent time learning about different education topics in order to vote on which issues they believed were the highest priority. 

After three rounds of voting and listening to student testimony, participants identified parent engagement, teacher diversity, and mental health as their three priority issues. However, the work doesn’t stop there.

Creating a Citywide Coalition

From the issues assembly, it became clear that there is a critical need for a Citywide Coalition for Education that focuses on students first and foremost, with a pulse on what community members care about, and engaging to understand what is most important to families in the public education system.

The kick-off meeting for the Citywide Coalition on Education was on Feb. 28. During the kick-off, parents, community leaders, and education advocates came together to discuss next steps for the priority issues, then joined a virtual house meeting where attendees shared why they were passionate about their chosen issue. The coalition closed by asking members to host their own house meetings or join a research action as we enter the listening and research phase. 

What’s next

During the next few months, coalition members will be hosting coffee chats, house meetings, and community forums all over the city to learn more about community experiences in relation to the three priority issues already identified. 

Throughout the coming year, the broad themes from the conversations will be further researched and will give deeper insight into how to cut the issue and demonstrate power. 

Anyone interested in advocating for change in Houston public school education can register for the next Citywide Coalition for Education meeting on Mar. 28. 

To receive action alerts and hear about ways you can advocate for change, text ENGAGE to (281) 609-3490. 

For more information on student outcomes and progress in Houston, explore our Data Dashboard

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