During the 140 days of the 85th Texas Legislative Session, the 150 representatives in the Texas House and 31 senators in the Texas Senate will determine many of the day-to-day details of the practice of our profession in the classroom as well as its funding. In many of these legislative districts, the largest group of potential voters by profession is public school teachers. Most of our legislators are attorneys or businessmen, with only a few experienced educators. They need our guidance, even if they do not admit it.
Developing a relationship with your legislator is exactly like developing a friendship with someone you would like to know. You need to meet that person face to face, share pleasantries, and then visit about things you have in common.
When you participate in ATPE at the Capitol on March 5-6, you are taking the first step toward developing a positive connection with the legislator who represents you at the Texas Capitol. But advocating for public education doesn’t just happen on March 6. Hopefully, you have already started connecting with your representative and senator.
Come to Austin March 5-6 and let the experts on the ATPE Governmental Relations team hone your skills. They will explain ATPE legislative priorities for this session. They will teach you ways to advocate for your profession and the students you teach.
And when you leave and go home, there will still be 90 days of the 85th Legislative Session for you to continue to advocate for public education with emails, letters, phone calls, and possibly more visits face to face with those who represent you in Austin.
Join me in representing our profession. You can make a difference for Texas education. It all starts with your registering now!
There is no registration fee for this event, and travel incentive funds are available to certain eligible ATPE local units and members. The deadline to register online is Feb. 3, 2017.
Find housing and transportation information, program information, and resources at ATPE’s Advocacy Central page. (Members must log in to access this page and register for the event.)
Gayle Sampley is the Humble ATPE legislative chairman. She is a retired elementary behavior teacher from Humble ISD with 24 years of experience.