Early voting is officially underway in Texas and Austin Achieve Public Schools is striving to increase voter turnout.

On October 4th Austin Achieve held a student-led voter registration drive to register eligible voters in Austin. A group of juniors from the school’s founding class of 2019, along with the help of a Travis county Volunteer Deputy Registrar, gathered at the school library for a voter registration drive open to parents, staff, and the East Austin community.

Students from Austin Achieve planned this event alongside AP US History teacher Travis Helm after learning about East Austin’s history of low voter turnout.

Eduardo Suarez Ugarte is a junior at Austin Achieve and wants Austin Achieve students to impact change by encouraging others to vote. “Voting has been an impactful way of having our voice be heard, yet in our city of Austin, voter turnout had been at its lowest last year at 42.6 percent. Most people are not voting due to the fact that they are not well informed. Information is the key that people need in order to make the best decision while voting.”

During the voter registration drive Austin Achieve students expressed their own desire to register to vote once eligible and shared their thoughts on the importance of bringing about sensible policies through the use of voting.

Each student plans to continue these efforts by encouraging their own family members to vote and spreading the word about the upcoming election dates and voting locations. Eduardo said, “Projects like these leave an impact in us as scholars, by showing us that we can help out our neighborhoods to be well informed. The feeling that we get from doing this is inexplainable, it's something that we are willing to do for our communities.”

Early voting runs through November 3rd and it’s important that all eligible voters make their voices heard by casting their ballot in the November election.

After the passage of HB 21 students in Public Charters Schools in Texas will receive funds from the state of Texas for facilities funding the first time. All this in part thanks to the the efforts of a well informed and active electorate of strong charter school advocates. Early voting began on October 23rd and ends on November 3rd. Election Day is on November 7th.

In the coming months, each of us can support the efforts of Austin Achieve scholars to help increase voter turnout by casting our ballots this November and continue our commitment to serving Texas students and families.

As a community passionate about public charter schools and public education, we encourage all of you to participate in the election process as a part of our civic duty. Every vote counts!

Our duty to engage in advocacy efforts goes beyond the 140 days the state legislature meets. As this fall voting season kicks off, TCSA would like to remind you that voting is part of our civic duty. For those of us who lead schools, classrooms, or households, we lead by example. Our civic duties are ongoing-there are fall elections, spring primaries, May elections, and the cycle continues every year.

This year’s ballot for the November 7th election includes constitutional amendments, school board candidates, and city bond elections. These critical decisions impact our children and their education, which is why we need you to advocate for children year-round.

To stay tuned on more opportunities to stay informed and engaged in ways you can support your public charter school student visit http://www.txcharterrevolution.org/join

There are many ways to participate in our democratic process and the election process is significant. Take time to look up what is on the ballot and make sure you show up to vote during early voting, which began on October 23 and runs through November 3rd. Election day is November 7th.

Below are a few links to what is on the ballot around the state of Texas. Visit your county, city or ISD website to learn more about what will be on your ballot. Also don’t forget to look up your elected officials and sign-up for their newsletters to get the latest updates.

As a community passionate about public charter schools and education we encourage all of you to participate in the election process as a part of our civic duty. Every vote counts!

Information on Voting and What’s on the Ballot

https://www.votetexas.gov/

https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/06/hey-texplainer-what-constitutional-amendments-will-be-november-ballot/

http://kut.org/post/heres-what-7-constitutional-amendments-ballot-would-do

Additionally, here are some resources for our state's most populated areas.

Bexar County

http://www.bexar.org/1568/Elections-Department

El Paso County

https://epcountyvotes.com/

Dallas County

http://www.dallascountyvotes.org/election-day-information/upcoming-election-information/

http://dallascityhall.com/departments/public-works/dallasbondprogram/Pages/faqs.aspx

Harris County and City of Houston

http://www.harrisvotes.com/VoterBallotSearch.aspx?L=E

http://www.houstontx.gov/2017election.html

Travis County

http://www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/Content.do?code=E.3

The 2017 TCSA Annual Election began July 28th and closes October 11th.

A total of 14 leadership positions are up for election this year:

  • The Member Council Vice-Chair

TCSA Board of Directors (5 vacancies):

  • Large School Representative (3 vacancies)
  • Small School Representative (1 vacancy)
  • Standing Member School Small (1 vacancy)

TCSA Elected Advocacy Committee (8 vacancies):

  • Large School Representative (2 vacancies)
  • Small School Representative (2 vacancies)
  • College Preparatory Representative (1 vacancy)
  • Dropout Recovery Representative (1 vacancy)
  • Early Childhood & Elementary Education (1 vacancy)
  • Specialized Mission Representative (1 vacancy)

How to Nominate and Vote Online

All nominations, campaigning and voting are conducted electronically via the TCSA Quality Member Portal.

First, click here to log into the TCSA Quality Member Portal.

Second, click on ‘Membership Voting’ in red font at the top right hand corner of the page.  Here you will find the links to (1) the Candidate Nomination Form and (2) cast your vote in the 2017 TCSA Election. 

For your reference, this page also contains the TCSA Bylaws and Nomination and Election Policy, which sets forth leadership eligibility requirements, and the 2017 TCSA Election Timeline.  

If you would like to nominate someone other than yourself, please reach out to that potential candidate and ask him or her to complete the Candidate Nomination Form. 

Questions or problems? Please contact Maria-Theresa Sigua at msigua@txcharterschools.org or 512.584.8272.

The nominations form due date has been extended through Monday, September 4th at midnight CST.

2017 ELECTION TIMELINE

 

Task

Timeline as Per Bylaws or Process

Important 2017 Election Dates

 

Nomination Form Released

75 days prior to election

July 28

 

Nomination Form Due Date

Deadline has been extended

Sept. 4

 

Nominations Committee Review Period

Review period has been extended

July 28-Sept. 4

 

Candidates are notified of eligibility

To accommodate the extended nominations deadline, the Committee will review nominations as they are received and notify each candidate of confirmed eligibility shortly after receipt of nomination forms, but no later than Sept. 5. 

July 28-Sept. 5

 

Deadline to submit campaign videos and bios

31 days prior to election

Sept. 10

 

Slate announced

30 days prior to election

Sept. 11

 

Campaign videos and bios released Electronic voting begins

20 days prior to election

Sept. 21

 

Electronic voting closes

Day before election announcement

Oct. 11

 

Election Winners Announcement

Annual meeting

Oct. 12

 

Any Run-off Election will be conducted by paper ballot*

Annual meeting

Oct. 12

 

New Leadership Terms Begin

 

Jan. 1, 2018

 
       

*Only members present at annual meeting will actually be able to cast a paper ballot vote in a run-off election.

A complete nomination slate is on the Texas Charter Schools Association’s (TCSA) Quality Portal and electronic voting has begun! The voting portal is open from September 13 through October 3, 2016. Cast your vote today!

To Cast Your Vote

Log into the TCSA Quality Portal. Click on “Membership Voting” (top right hand side of page in red font).

There you will find the nomination slate, candidate campaign videos, candidate biographies, and their school’s profile for your review and consideration.

Note: Once you click the Start Your Vote button, you MUST NOT leave the ballot until you are ready to submit your completed ballot.

Fast Facts on Voting

  • The voting page is only accessible to member charters leaders.
  • Only the charter leader, or a designated school representative, may cast a vote using the charter leader’s TCSA Quality Portal log-in information.
  • If you have forgotten your log-in information, please click on the link titled ‘Forgot Password’ on the TCSA Quality Portal login page to request a reset of your password.
  • One charter, one ballot. The voting portal does not allow the submission of more than one ballot.
  • Voting is confidential – the system does not track how a particular member school voted.
  • Member schools are eligible to vote only for the two membership categories for which they are categorized: 1) Size (Small or Large) and 2) Charter Mission (College Preparatory, Dropout Recovery, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, RTC/JDC, Special Mission, University Charter).

Example:

  • Small Schools (enrollment of 1499 or under) will vote for a Small School Representative leadership vacancy (but not a Large School Representative). 
  • Large Schools (enrollment of 1500 or more) will vote for a Large School Representative leadership vacancy (but not a Small School Representative).
  • RTC/JDC School will vote for a RTC/JDC Representative leadership vacancy (but not for any other charter mission category).

Election Results

The last day to vote will be Monday, October 3, 2016, the first day of the 2016 Texas Charter Schools Conference. TCSA will announce the winners at the Member Council Meeting held at the conference on October 4, 2016 at 12 noon.

Any run-off election will be conducted by paper ballot at the Member Council Meeting at the TCSA Conference. Only charter leaders (or their proxy) who are present may vote in a run-off election. New leadership terms will be effective January 1, 2017.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the 2016 TCSA Leadership Election, please do not hesitate to contact Maria-Theresa Sigua.

We look forward to the results of the election!

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