By Martha Fernandez, TCSA Director of Advocacy

Since the end of the 84th Legislative Session, I’ve been meeting with several of our charter school leaders to discuss their advocacy plans for the next 15 months. And while they’ve been busy getting their schools up and running for the 2015-16 school year, everyone has been positive and passionate about activating a grassroots network among teachers and parents. Join the TX Charter Revolution!

This spring, we had several priority bills pass into law and we had more parents and teachers than ever before at our rally at the Capitol. But we can and should do more.

My goal is to continue to build TCSA’s grassroots advocacy offerings to support our schools. I understand that every campus is unique in its mission and in the community that it serves, which is why the TCSA advocacy team hit the road on a listening tour. I want to know our members' grassroots needs in order for TCSA to provide targeted and useful support to its members.

So far, I've had the chance to meet with members from International Leadership of Texas, Uplift Education, Life School, Austin Achieve, Montessori for All, KIPP Austin, IDEA Austin and Harmony Public Schools. I will continue meeting and working with you and hope that you will reach out to me if you are interested in hearing more. I am happy to visit as many campuses as possible to support the great work happening on the ground and to connect you to your area lawmakers.

Email Martha Fernandez

By: Martha Fernandez, TCSA Director of Advocacy

Martha Fernandez, TCSA Director of Advocacy

Martha Fernandez, TCSA Director of Advocacy

The beginning of the school year is a busy time for families, educators and students. There are supplies to purchase, lessons to plan and a new routine to learn. But don't let that excitement and stress distract you from an important piece of being in the public charter school movement: ADVOCACY!

Public charter schools have changed the lives of thousands of students and families in Texas since 1995 thanks to dedicated educators and families. But the work is far from over and your voice is needed to continue to grow effective schools and support student achievement.

Here are three easy steps to add advocacy to your school year:

1. Invite local and state elected officials to tour your campus or attend a school event, such as a fall carnival or student performance.

2. Visit your lawmaker's office with parents, students and teachers and tell them about your school.

3. Sign up to join the Texas Charter Revolution and learn all about the issues facing public charter school students!

Our students are being shortchanged about $1,000 just because they attend a public charter school. We have 18 months to show our lawmakers how important public charter schools are to Texas families.

Let's start advocating NOW and erase that funding gap!