Grassroots Advocacy: Engaging Your Community
for Public Education
Sponsored by TASA and The University of Texas at Austin’s College of EducationJune 25-27, 2017 | Renaissance Austin HotelThis year’s summer conference comes on the heels of the 85th Texas legislative session (and now just a few weeks before a summer special session). Join us in Austin June 25-27 to gain insight from legislators and education proponents on changes coming to our schools, as well as on how grassroots advocacy can be a powerful force in shaping educational policy.
You will have the opportunity to apply what you learn in the general sessions in EdCamp sessions (essentially collaborative, participant-driven breakout sessions) that will encourage an exchange of ideas and solutions related to the issues in Texas public education that matter the most to you.
Day 1: Sunday, June 25
Come to Austin early for the optional morning preconference hosted by the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS).
We’ll greet you on what promises to be a hot Sunday afternoon with an ice cream social. Cool off with a scoop or two before heading into the first general session – a panel discussion/Q&A featuring several of this session’s most education-friendly legislators. They will share the real scoop on what happened under the Capitol dome this session and perhaps some insight into the upcoming special session.
Finish off the evening at a welcome reception, where you will have the chance to meet and mingle with school leaders from across the state.
Day 2: Monday, June 26
If you’re a morning person, enjoy breakfast on us and take advantage of another opportunity to network with fellow school leaders.
Then bring your coffee and join us for a general session in which the TASA Governmental Relations lobby team will brief you on specific legislation passed by the 85th Legislature and what it could mean for your school community. Before we start, we’ll provide a primer that will help you make the most of the day’s EdCamp activities. Then, after the briefing by the lobby team, you’ll get to participate in the first EdCamp session on a topic of your choice.
Lunch is on your own (or with new friends). You’ll find plenty of options near the Renaissance Austin.
Early afternoon is devoted to those devoted to our schools: public education advocates. We’ve invited both school leaders and representatives from organizations that are out front and center in the fight to protect our public schools to participate in a panel discussion/Q&A. The advocacy panel features Texas Parent PAC volunteer/fundraiser Julie Cowan, who also serves on the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, Texas PTA President Lisa Holbrook, Charles Foster Johnson of Pastors for Texas Children, Cynthia Miller, who brings the business perspective, Blake Powell with Friends of Texas Public Schools, Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees President Kristin Tassin, TAMSA President Theresa Trevino, and Northside ISD Superintendent Brian Woods, a member of the Go Public Steering Committee. They’ll share their stories and strategies for powerful grassroots advocacy.
All fired up for Texas public schools and nowhere to go? Head into our final general session for the day. We’re calling it “TASA Interactive: Collaborative Problem-Solving.” Using all that you’ve learned thus far and drawing from your own experiences, you’ll collaborate with your fellow attendees in a systems-thinking exercise to solve a real problem in public ed. You’ve got this!
We’ll cap off the day with a second EdCamp session of your choosing. You may be so engaged in conversation that you don’t want to call it a day at 5 p.m. Whenever you wrap up, the evening is all yours!
Day 3: Tuesday, June 27
We wouldn’t send you home hungry, so rise and shine and get some breakfast. It’s on us, and it provides another valuable opportunity to network and share ideas with your colleagues.
Join us for one last general session before you go. We’ve invited the commissioner of education to bring a panel of key Texas Education Agency staff for a discussion/Q&A. With all your new knowledge of the legislative changes coming your way, you’ll have plenty of questions.
Those of you who are Accountability Forum subscribers will want to stay after the conference for the Accountability Forum Seminar, which will feature invited presentations from TEA officials who are in-the-know on all things related to assessment and accountability.
A room block has been set aside at the Renaissance Austin Hotel.The Renaissance Austin Hotel features a sophisticated style with Texas-size personality. Nestled in the picturesque Texas Hill Country near the Arboretum at Great Hills Mall, the hotel provides a tranquil environment surrounded by nature trails, yet offers convenient proximity to Downtown Austin, University of Texas, 6th Street, Austin Bergstrom International Airport and the Domain Shopping Center, which is just 2 miles away.Book using this link by June 3 to take advantage of the $194 per night single/double group rate.
Online registration is closed, but you may register on-site at the Renaissance Austin Hotel as early as 7 a.m., Sunday, June 25, so you can attend the optional preconference (registration for the preconference is additional beyond the following conference registration fees):TASA Member: $195;
TASA Student Member: $95
(A group rate is available for students in education-related doctoral programs. Contact Paul Whitton at TASA for more information.)
Upcoming Conference Dates
Mark your calendar for the 2018 Summer Conference in Austin!June 24 - 26, 2018
Scholarships for Doctoral Students
Did you know that TASA's Johnny L. Veselka Scholarship was established in 2013-14 to honor and provide financial assistance to outstanding doctoral students pursuing careers in educational leadership, with particular emphasis on the superintendency? TASA annually awards scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each as the number and quality of applicants allows. Scholarship winners are announced and the awards are presented at the TASA Midwinter Conference each January. The application for the 2017-18 program will open in September 2017. Learn more.