An alliance of education advocates is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas lawmakers to focus on parent-identified solutions to fix the state’s troubled school system during an upcoming special legislative session.

Texas Education 911 is a grassroots movement organized ahead of the 88th Legislative Session to promote parental rights, transparency, and accountability in government education.

Lawmakers failed to pass most of the group’s proposed education priorities during the regular session.

Abbott has said he will call a special session to pass school choice legislation, but the education advocates see a need for broader reforms.

“We need a special session that addresses real problems faced by real Texas families,” according to Texas Education 911.

“The current model is broken, and we believe it’s time to turn to people with new ideas who care, very personally, what happens: PARENTS,” the group said in a notice this week anticipating the special session.

The organization said parents were “left out of the discussion” during an interim committee hearing by the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment.

Instead, lawmakers listened to special interest groups, school district superintendents, and state employees.

Texas Education 911 says its parent-driven solutions do not require millions of taxpayer dollars in new spending, so vendors, districts, and special interest groups don’t stand to profit. But they believe “students will profit tremendously.”

“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care (including health or mental health care) of their children,” Texas Education 911 said in an email to supporters last week. “Public schools must ensure complete transparency, be fully accountable, and honor parental and Constitutional rights.”

“Rights cannot be upheld if there are no consequences to schools who violate them,” they added. “Without enforcement, laws are simply suggestions.”

Over the summer, Texas Education 911’s Champion-A-Child campaign targeted state senators with stories of students and parents harmed by school administrators failing to follow the law.

Texas Scorecard’s latest season of Exposed has revealed how Texas school districts frequently fail to respond to families’ complaints about violations.

“Texas Education 911 began an organized parent movement that showed what an impact parents can have when they are informed and know how to advocate for solutions,” the alliance said. “Now is the time to do more, not less.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.