Chaired by former State Senator Florence Shapiro, the Commit! Advocacy Council has hit the ground running in the spirit of championing our county’s children! The council is comprised of an impressive group of bipartisan state legislators from Dallas county, district trustees, and advocacy experts. Constituents within Dallas County will be pleased to know these leaders are joining forces to discuss and advocate on behalf of the education of Dallas County’s students.

Following the council’s inaugural policy roundtable, the council has been advocating for two pieces of legislation, both of which will improve Commit!’s ability to gather data that can be used to improve education. The first, Senate Bill 172, amends the Texas Education Code to allow the Commissioner to add a multi-dimensional tool to the approved list of kindergarten readiness diagnostic tools. Currently, districts are required to give a literacy assessment at the beginning of kindergarten, and the state pays $5 for the assessment. By adding a multi-dimensional tool to the approved list, districts will have a choice of giving a literacy or multi-dimensional assessment. A multi-dimensional tool goes beyond the literacy tools currently approved by additionally assessing a student’s social emotional development, language and communication skills, and physical development – all of which are helpful in determining a student’s overall readiness for kindergarten.

The second piece of legislation involves strengthening the Education Research Centers and is still being drafted. Stay tuned for more information about the progress of the Advocacy Council’s efforts, and Happy 83rd Legislative Session!