The IDRA Newsletter is published 10 times a year. Each edition focuses on issues in education, striving to provide many different perspectives on the topics covered and to define its significance in the state and national dialogue. The IDRA Newsletter can only be mailed to U.S. addresses, but pdf and web copies are available online.

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January 2012 Issue ~ Articles 


January 2012

Focus ~ Fair Funding

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Newsletter Executive Editor
María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, Ph.D.

ISSN 1069-5672

Fair Funding is Essential to Having Excellent Schools for All Texas Students
In a statement, Dr. Robledo Montecel, IDRA President, applauds MALDEF for filing its lawsuit against Texas
on behalf of four poor school districts. “It is unfortunate – scandalous in fact – that it takes litigation to convince our state leaders to invest in education, to invest in children – all children, to invest in the future of Texas.” IDRA has focused on this issue since its founding almost four decades ago. We will not stop until
Texas truly has a strong public school system that provides an excellent education for all children.

Groups Challenge Texas System for Funding Public Schools… Again
In this newsletter article, Albert Cortez , Ph.D., compares the four lawsuits that have been filed in
Texas challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school funding system. Combined, the plaintiffs schools represent close to half of the students and school districts in the state. This clearly reflects the overall poor disgust with the state legislature’s poor handling of the school funding crisis in the 2011 session.

Fair Funding Now! Building Grassroots Leadership for Funding Equity
In this newsletter article, Laurie Posner, M.P.A., gives an update on IDRA’s Fair Funding Now! initiative. In gathering across the states, participants have shared a concern for children whose schools face serious cuts; expressed frustration with school funding policy; and proposed plans to spread the word, share their story, pass a resolution or mobilize others.

Interview: Engaging Parents through Powerful Coalition Building to Support Education
Community engagement does not mean starting from scratch. Advocates in communities long have come together to tackle specific needs, like health, housing and development. In this Courageous Connections interview, José Medrano, of the START Center in South Texas, describes how, in the Texas Rio Grande Valley several such groups are working together to focus attention on education, particularly local dropout rates.

Listen to the interview, “Engaging Parents through Powerful Coalition Building” – Classnotes Podcast Episode 96



January 2012 ~ Newsletter Plus

Fair Funding Now! tools and handouts

Sample school board resolution for fair funding (English & Spanish)

School Funding Crowdmap – See how cuts are affecting communities and add your story

MALDEF school funding lawsuit information:

IDRA’s OurSchool portal – see cuts in your
Texas district –in English, in Spanish

Classnotes Podcast interview with Encarnación Garza, Jr., assistant professor at UTSA, “Implications of Inequitable School Funding

Infographic: Equity Gap (printable pdf) (sharable web graphic, png)

Infographic: State Ranking in Education Funding (printable pdf) 
(sharable web graphic, png)

Equity   Center  Radio Highlights Funding Needs for Education of ELLs – Listen to this two-part interview with Dr. Albert Cortez , IDRA director of policy, on Equity Center Radio. Dr. Cortez is interviewed by Ray Freeman, deputy executive director for the  Equity   Center , about funding for the education of English language learners. Part 1 Part 2