Education Policy

Using inclusive, cutting edge and broad-based strategies, IDRA develops leadership within communities, schools, and policymaking bodies to create collaborative and enlightened educational policies that work for all children.

COVID-19 Education Policy Updates

IDRA is releasing policy updates for schools regarding COVID-19 each Friday in our Learning Goes On eNews (sign up free). See a log of the updates here in English and in Spanish.

New! June 12, 2020, edition U.S. Department of Education affirms intent to exclude undocumented students from CARES Act relief funds; and COVID-19 federal guidance documents impact schools and communities: English • Spanish

June 5, 2020, edition with IDRA Statement in Support of Black Lives: English • Spanish

May 29, 2020, edition focusing on what we are hearing from families, students and educators: Part I: English • Spanish

May 22, 2020, edition focusing on how, without intervention, COVID-19-induced budgetary shortfalls will fall hardest on marginalized students in the South: English • Spanish

May 15, 2020, edition focusing on how COVID-19 does not change civil rights protections for students: English • Spanish

May 8, 2020, edition focusing on how COVID-19 worsens systemic educational inequity: English • Spanish

May 1, 2020, edition focusing on how family and community input is needed for COVID-19 relief funds: English • Spanish

April 24, 2020, edition focusing on how public school advocates join forces to push for emergency funding equity: English • Spanish

April 17, 2020, edition focusing on the CARES Act and federal COVID-19 actions: English • Spanish

Joint Letter: Supplemental Funding for English Learners/Title III in COVID Relief, April 17, 2020

April 9, 2020, edition focusing on policy recommendations to equity concerns for English learners in response to COVID-19: English • Spanish

April 3, 2020, edition focusing on how students in southern states face short- and long-term COVID-19 challenges: English • Spanish

Joint Letter: Letter to Texas Education Commissioner re 2020 Charter Amendments, April 3, 2020

Joint Letter: Recommendations for the Bexar County Juvenile Justice System’s COVID-19 Emergency Plan, March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020, Edition focusing on the CARES ACT and how Texas colleges are responding to COVID-19: English • Spanish

March 21, 2020, Edition focusing on Testing for Students in Texas & Equity Implications: English • Spanish

National News

New! How to Submit Public Comments to the U.S. Department of Education. Plus see our sample letter on the dangers of not including undocumented students in CARES Act relief

New! School Policing Resources

New! Another Zero-Tolerance Failure – State Takeovers of School Districts Don’t Work, By Terrence Wilson, J.D., & Chloe Latham Sikes, M.A., March 2020

New! Joint Letter: Opposition to Georgia’s Proposed Expansion of School Vouchers, March 20, 2020

Texas News

Four Texas organizations — Texas Appleseed, IDRA, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition & Texans Care for Children — sent a letter to Gov. Abbott today urging him to address the needs of incarcerated and detained youth during the coronavirus pandemic, March 19, 2020

Testimony on Texas Senate Bill 11 Interim Monitoring and Implementation Regarding Threat Assessments, School Safety and Discipline, March 18, 2020

Court Decision on the “Public Charge” Rule Leaves Schools to Fill Gaps to Address Children’s Hunger, Housing Insecurity and Other Needs that Affect their Learning, January 27, 2020

Ethnic Studies Courses

Testimony: African American Studies Course Will Have a Significant and Positive Impact on Students Across Texas, November 13, 2019

News Release: IDRA EAC-South Assists Virginia Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth, October 28, 2019

Bilingual Education Funding

Policy Brief: Most English Learners Would Be Excluded from the Proposed Dual Language Weight 

Bilingual Allotment Data Dashboard: IDRA created this data dashboard to show scenarios of how increasing the bilingual education allotment will impact schools within each Texas House or Senate district.

Testimony: Without Increased Resources for English Learners, Texas Compromises Education for One-fifth of Students, February 13, 2019

Testimony: Keep Spending Guidelines for Bilingual and Comp Ed Funding, April 25, 2019

School Funding

Infographic: Texas State Divestment of Education

Policy Brief: Fair and Essential Education Funding Requires State Investment

Statement: New Texas School Finance Proposals Are a Start, But There is Still Work to Be Done to Ensure Fair Funding for All Students

Analysis: Summary of Comprehensive Texas School Finance Bill

Infographic: 7 Things to Ensure School Finance Equity

See IDRA’s Online Tool: IDRA’s Texas School Finance news dashboard

Individual Graduation Committees

Testimony: TLEC Urges Texas House to Permanently Allow the Use of Individual Graduation Committees

Statement: Reported STAAR Design Flaws in Reading Show Why High-stakes Punishments Should be Removed from the STAAR

Policy Brief: Don’t Block Graduation Because of a Test

Infographic: Use of Individual Graduation Committees Unlocks Diplomas for 14,422 Qualified Students in Texas

Top Ten Percent Plan

Analysis: Texas Top Ten Percent Plan at UT-Austin Has Dramatic Impact Within Texas Senate Districts

Charter Schools and Privatization

Joint Letter to TEA Regarding Implementation of the Common Charter Application and Charter Waiting List

Joint Statement: Increase the Transparency and Efficiency of Charter Schools in Texas

School Safety

New! School Policing Resources

Testimony: Use Effective Discipline, Not Zero Tolerance – IDRA Testimony Against SB2432, April 30, 2019

Testimony: Clearly Define the Role of Law Enforcement in Schools – Officers Should Not Be Called on to Handle School Disciplinary Matters, IDRA Testimony on SB1 707, March 26, 2019

Joint Statement: Legislative Solutions for Safe Schools Must Include School-Based Strategies that Help Educators and Support Students

School Holding Power

Research: Texas High Schools Lost 1 in 5 Students Last Year – IDRA attrition study 

Research: Poor Children Are More Likely to Disappear from Schools in Texas

Federal Policy

The U.S. Congress plays a pivotal role in helping states achieve this goal as it considers reauthorization of the Elementary...

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IDRA Policy Issues for Texas

IDRA Policy Issues for Texas in 2019 See PDF version (one page) See PDF version (with resource links)   Fair...

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Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition

The Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition (TLEEC) is a collaborative of organizations and individuals with the mission to improve the...

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Fair Funding for the Common Good

A child's future should not depend on his or her heritage, parents' income or neighborhood. Our sense of justice insists that...

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Fair Discipline that Keeps Children in Safe Schools

IDRA Policy Issues  IDRA Stands Ensure school safety and foster positive school climates by providing critical funds and supporting research-based...

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Public Funding for Public Schools (non-privatization)

Keeping the Public in Public Schools IDRA Policy Issues  IDRA Stands Public money must have public oversight and must not...

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Accountability that Doesn’t Hurt Children

IDRA Policy Issues IDRA Stands The state’s accountability system should be supportive, moving away from rigid, punitive structures. The state...

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Testing that Doesn’t Hurt Children

IDRA Policy Issues for Texas  IDRA Stands No single measure should be used to make high-stakes decisions for promotion or...

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English Language Learner Education

Public schools have a responsibility to educate all students who enter their doors. This naturally includes children who arrive at...

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College Access for Success

Many students are unable to get into college. Among those who do get in, many are unable to finish. In...

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Student Tracking Policies Weaken Curriculum

After years of research and practice have demonstrated the failure of student tracking policies, Texas has returned to the practice...

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Dropout Prevention & School Holding Power

Texas schools are losing 11 students per hour Nationally, our schools are losing one of every four students. This lack of school...

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Education of Immigrant Children

Immigrant Students’ Rights to Attend Public Schools Public schools, by law, must serve all children. The education of undocumented students...

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High Quality Teaching

Success in school means having quality teachers, i.e., teachers who know their subject, who know effective instructional practices and who...

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Quality Schools Action Framework

IDRA’s Quality Schools Action Framework™ shows how we can strengthen public education for all students. The framework – or theory...

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