The mission driving ATPE’s advocacy work is helping Texas educators inspire student success. Public education issues consistently dominate policy discussions at the state and federal levels and make up one of the largest segments of the budgets adopted by our lawmakers. Students are necessarily and rightfully at the core of those conversations. Through our experienced team of professional lobbyists, aided by the grassroots efforts of our members, ATPE advocates for laws and policies to maximize student learning, maintain safe school environments, and address the social and emotional well-being of students.
Examples of ATPE’s advocacy efforts to benefit students
- Urging legislators to provide the funding necessary to meet the needs of our public schools, including resources to address the unique circumstances of all students, including but not limited to students with disabilities or other special learning needs, English language learners, gifted and talented students, students living in poverty, and children affected by trauma.
- Advocating for accountability laws, policies on student assessment, and requirements for student promotion or graduation that are reasonable, grounded in research, and developed with the input of educators as they are in the best position to understand student needs.
- Fighting to ensure Texas public schools are safe spaces where students and staff alike are protected against violence, illness and other public health threats, harassment and bullying, and any other harm that could impede student learning and endanger mental health.
- Ensuring educators, and especially classroom teachers, are the primary influencers of decisions about school course design, curriculum standards, assessments, and textbooks and instructional materials. ATPE has long advocated for our members’ “freedom to teach,” which means being trusted and empowered to make decisions about curriculum, testing, grading, and countless other elements of pedagogy.
- Lobbying for educators’ input to be reflected clearly in all decisions made by the State Board of Education, Texas Education Agency, and U.S. Department of Education.
- Working with the State Board for Educator Certification, legislators, and other policymakers to ensure that future educators are well prepared to face the rigors of the classroom with a robust curriculum and a strong ethical foundation; that current educators have access to ongoing training and mentoring enabling them to hone their craft; and that disciplinary laws and rules are enforced with fidelity and due process aimed at maintaining high standards for the profession and protecting the well-being of students.
Read our member-adopted ATPE Legislative Program to learn more about our positions on numerous issues that affect students. Find additional information about ATPE’s advocacy efforts on our Teach the Vote blog.