The following post is an update from the Texas Educators Vote coalition that was emailed to superintendents in districts who are members of the Texas Association of Community Schools (TACS). ATPE is a member of the Texas Educators Vote coalition.
Texas Educators Vote Update for August 31, 2017
We know that many of you are focused on recovering from the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, and we stand ready to support you. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to escape the destruction, we are hopeful that you have started the process of getting staff and students registered to vote.
You may know that one of our partners is the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). Last year, their attorneys worked with us to create a “Culture of Voting Resolution” that can be adopted by school boards to support their district’s efforts to create a culture of voting and increase civic engagement.
One of my favorite lines in the short document reads:
“WHEREAS, public education and the educated citizenry created by public education are the greatest safeguards to the State of Texas and the continuation of a free society; and the institution of public education is best protected by a robust and informed electorate;”
This resolution, once adopted, shields you as superintendents from potential pushback from citizens who may not be interested in encouraging all eligible Texans to vote. It is an important message of support from the school board and it demonstrates a commitment to the basic principles of our democracy.
It is possible that your district has already adopted this resolution, which was included in the August 2016 Regulations Resource Manual – Update 52. If you aren’t sure if your district has done so, why don’t you recommend the board adopt the resolution now to show their strong support for creating a culture of voting in your school district?
We encourage you to present the TASB Culture of Voting Resolution at your September board meeting, so get it on the agenda now! You can find the resolution here: http://texaseducatorsvote.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TASB-Culture-of-Voting.pdf
Please let us know when your board has signed the resolution by emailing Laura Yeager and/or Barry Haenisch. We will compile a list of districts that have signed the resolution.
We are currently updating the Texas Educators Vote website to make it as simple, useful, and interactive as possible. The updated site will enable people to sign the “Educator’s Oath to Vote” online so you won’t have to make copies or collect them this year during your kickoff event (that we will explain in more detail in an upcoming email). You may want to share the “Oath” with board members when you present the resolution.
Here is a link to the updated Oath. It simply states:
I am a Texas educator and I commit to vote in
the March primary and the November general elections.
I will vote in support of public education in the
interest of the more than 5 million Texas school children.
Step by step, we will create a robust and informed electorate, which is perhaps the most important goal of public education. Many thanks for your continued hard work to educate all children and by so doing, strengthen the great state of Texas.
TACS Governmental Affairs
Director, Texas Educators Vote