• IDRA Newsletter • April 2004 • 

The first in a series of regional forums on fair funding took place in March in Laredo, Texas, bringing together more than 175 education, business and community leaders. Sponsored by the Laredo Independent School District and held at Texas A&M International University, the event focused on the school finance system and what is at stake if equity is lost.

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Community leaders declared their support for funding equity, signing the Declaration for Educational Excellence and Equity and outlining next steps they will undertake to promote fair funding.

At a time in our history when an excellent education for all our children is an absolute necessity, the fair and equitable funding of our schools is at stake and its future in grave danger. It is for these reasons that the Laredo ISD board of trustees and Superintendent Dr. R.J. Barber hosted this event. They convened distinguished Texas leaders in the field of public school finance, all of them recognized for their courageous and expert advocacy of fair funding for all children. Speakers included:

  • Sylvia Bruni, Laredo Independent School District (moderator)
  • R. Jerry Barber, Superintendent of Schools
  • Dennis D. Cantú School Board President
  • María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Intercultural Development Research Association
  • Scott McCown, Center for Public Policy Priorities
  • John Hubbard, Equity Center
  • Angela Valenzuela, LULAC State Education Committee
  • Nina Perales, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Jesús J. Amezcua, Laredo Independent School District
  • Don P. Schulte, Laredo Independent School District

Laredo ISD firmly believes that equitable funding for all public schools is everyone’s business and that it merits our full understanding as well as an opportunity to discuss the issue with those who have been actively involved in its defense.

Other communities across the state are planning similar events. To learn more about fair funding and community action, visit the texans4fairfunding  web site and sign up to receive email updates. You can also join others in signing on to the Declaration for Educational Excellence and Equity online.

Comments and questions may be directed to IDRA via e-mail at feedback@idra.org.

[©2004, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the April 2004 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]