On October 11, education organizations impacting Dallas County kids joined together for the Inaugural Dallas Education Advocacy Roundtable. Hosted by Commit!, the Dallas Regional Chamber, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Childcare Alliance, the event provided a forum for local education organizations to submit and present policy briefs for community feedback. After months of planning, the roundtable included four panels – Childhood Education, Traditional K-12 Education, Alternative K-12 Education and Supplements to Learning – featuring a total of eighteen policy presentations. The audience full of education advocates, including retiring State Senator Florence Shapiro, was given opportunity to ask questions and make comments specific to each of the individual policies.
Just coming together to collaboratively think about and discuss legislative policies that traditionally have been developed by organizations in isolation is a giant victory for the local education community. But to maximize the power of our collective voices, Commit! has asked all roundtable attendees to indicate which of the presented policies they would be willing to support on behalf of their organizations. Those policy briefs with the most supporting organizations will be presented to a group of local legislators in November with the intention of gaining their support prior to the next legislative session in Austin, which begins January 8.