This week The Texas Tribune is hosting a free, online symposium on “The Future of Rural Texas.” A panel presentation on Tuesday centered on the challenges facing public education in rural Texas and featured State Representative Gary Vandeaver (R – New Boston), SBOE Member Georgina Perez (D – Ysleta), and Miami ISD Superintendent Donna Hale. The discussion was moderated by Texas Tribune public education reporter Aliyya Swaby and included such topics as digital learning, school safety, the possibility of budget cuts, and what do about STAAR tests this year.
Click the link below to watch Tuesday’s panel presentation on public education, or visit the Tribune’s website for more information on the entire “The Future of Rural Texas” symposium. Here’s more about the presentation from The Texas Tribune:
Rural school districts face different challenges than their urban and suburban counterparts as they struggle to keep staff members, educate students virtually on spotty internet and ensure staff and teachers are safe in their buildings — all while dealing with financial struggles.
Donna Hale, superintendent of Miami Independent School District, Georgina C. Pérez, member of the Texas State Board of Education, and state Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston, spoke with the Texas Tribune’s public education reporter, Aliyya Swaby, about how state leaders can do more to bolster public schools in rural regions, including continuing to fund them during an economic crisis.
They emphasized lack of broadband access as one of the main barriers to online learning. Perez, who served as a teacher and administrator for more than 10 years, said another challenge rural schools are facing is retaining great teachers.
The state budget is likely to be at the center of the upcoming legislative session, VanDeaver said. While he believes there will be budget cuts to education, “how we do that and do the least damage possible to our school districts, students and teachers is going to be the priority,” he said.
“Watch: Conversations on the future of rural Texas” was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/21/future-rural-texas-event/ by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is proud to celebrate 10 years of exceptional journalism for an exceptional state.