Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed. • IDRA Newsletter • March 2018 •

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Last year, three grandmothers whose children graduated from public high schools and whose grandchildren are now in public schools spoke at the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute. They discussed the importance of keeping public money in public schools. The session, led by Velma Ybarra, Diana Herrera and Jesusita Rios, was designed to inform parents about vouchers and similar schemes and to encourage advocacy for children in public schools. They gave an overview of how funding systems affect classrooms and how the state can identify necessary support mechanisms for neighborhood public schools. Given the urgency of this issue across the country, a session on equitable school funding will again be presented at this year’s parent institute.

See the Public Money for Public Schooling – Training Kit web page.

In the IDRA Newsletter, we have been highlighting some of the sessions from last year’s event and have developed tools for school districts to strengthen family engagement. The materials in the third toolkit include examples from the lower Rio Grande Valley, video discussion, stories of successes by Education CAFE groups and the steps to form a similar local organization.

The 20th Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute will be held on April 6, in San Antonio. It will be bilingual (English-Spanish), with some sessions live-streamed, and offer an array of concurrent presentations of interest to families, with many of the presentations led by parents. For information about the event, see

Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed., is an IDRA senior education associate. Comments and questions may be directed to him via email at

[©2018, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the March 2018 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.]