See you on Monday at Midwinter!
We hope to see you at the Texas School Coalition membership meeting that will take place as part of the TASA Midwinter Conference on Monday, January 27, at 2:15 p.m. in room 602 of the Austin Hilton Hotel.

Later that same day, we hope you will join us for our reception at Parker Jazz Club (117 West 4th Street), starting at 5:00 p.m.
School Choice Case to be heard by
US Supreme Court
Today the Supreme Court of the U nited States (SCOTUS) will hear the oral arguments in a case that could have implications for state policies. Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue challenges a decision to shut down a program that provided tax break incentives to donors who funded scholarships that families could use at private schools, including religious schools. Montana discontinued the program after its state supreme court found that it had violated a provision of the state constitution that prohibited the use of government funding, either directly or indirectly, for religious purposes. This provision in the Montana constitution is commonly known as a "Blaine amendment," and similar language can be found in 37 state constitutions, including Texas.

SCOTUS has not ruled directly on the application of Blaine amendments to school choice programs, and that could change with Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. A ruling could either affirm that Blaine amendment language does in fact make private school choice programs at religious schools unconstitutional. Alternatively, a ruling could eliminate a key argument that opponents of school choice have used to prevent private school choice programs, and potentially open the door to such programs in the future.

For more information, please see this piece from the New York Times :

Tax rate rules proposed
Last week, TEA announced the filing of several proposed rules regarding school district tax rates. The proposed rules are in line with the guidance provided by the agency on this topic. You are able to review the language of the proposed rules via the page available in the link below. The agency is accepting comments on these rules through February 18. If you have any questions or concerns about what is contained in the proposed rules, please let us know.

New House Appropriations Chairman
Congratulations are in order for Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) who was recently appointed as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. That position was open due to the resignation of former-Rep. Zerwas last year.

District Spotlight: Throckmorton Collegiate ISD

We are regularly profiling different member districts in our updates. It's an opportunity for you to learn something you may have in common or to learn something new and unique about your peer districts.
School District: Throckmorton Collegiate ISD
Superintendent: Dr. Michelle Cline
Region: 9

Location: TCISD is located in central West Texas in Throckmorton, population 767. It is one of 2 districts in Throckmorton County and located in the county seat. TCISD is midway between Wichita Falls and Abilene.

Student Enrollment: We serve 161 students, from ages 3-5 Montessori through grade 12. 

School Campus Configuration: We are a P-20 model and have one elementary, one junior high, and one Early College/PTECH High School. Students receive a high school diploma, Associate’s degree and industry certification upon graduation.

What are your district's points of pride?
  • TCISD is a school of choice and is one of three early adopters of the Collegiate EduNation model, a Systemic Model approach that will enable TCISD to better provide students with the resources necessary to engage in a much more globally competitive educational and work force environment as well as break the cycle of generational poverty
  • We have our own community based accountability system
  • The only school in the region to offer Montessori free of charge starting at age 3 and partner with Texas A&M Extension Agency as part of our model to develop researchers and thinkers
  • 4 College/Career pathways that include: economic and entrepreneurship, one health, engineering, and core complete

What makes your school district/ community unique?
  • Home of Dallas Cowboy and Texas Tech graduate, Bob Lilly
  • Home of 3 National FFA Presidents
  • Home of the progressive R. A. Brown Ranch
  • District-wide 4H enrollment

What challenges does your district face?
  • We are a property wealthy district facing challenges of Robin Hood and decreased State funding
  • Since we are an isolated rural district, it is difficult attracting certified teachers
  • Meeting the demands of recent legislation with a limited staff

Thank you to our annual sponsors!
Texas School Coalition
601 Camp Craft Road
Austin, Texas 78746