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Community weighs in at public education workshop

Parents, educators and students from districts across the Rio Grande Valley voiced their concerns to the Texas Board of Education as part of a community event on Wednesday.

Parents, educators and students from districts across the Rio Grande Valley voiced their concerns to the Texas Board of Education on Wednesday as part of a community event.

The workshop, which was organized by board member Ruben Cortez, Jr., is one of several taking place across the state.

"Often times these decisions are made by bureaucrats in Austin, and that's not how things should be done,” Cortez said. “We should get input from the people in the field and students who are impacted by the decisions being made."

The state board has not had a long-range plan in place in over ten years, Cortez said.

"Previous boards have failed to get this done,” said Cortez. “Our board is going to get it right."

Attendees of the workshop divided into groups to address ways to improve parent involvement in schools and teacher retention. Another major topic of discussion was equitable school funding.

"We want to make sure that just because I'm small, that doesn't mean I don't get the same dollar amount," said Aimee Garza-Limon, principal at Brownsville Early College High School.

Students also chimed in on ways in which schools could better support them in their future careers.

“I feel like we need to work more on being able to go from high school to go on to have qualities to go on to a career, “said Emily Rodriguez, student at Los Fresnos High School. “To have the opportunity to shadow people, to go and see what your job and career is going to be like.”

The Texas Board of Education hired a consulting group to gather the surveys and feedback from these community meetings.

Board member Cortez said his goal is to provide these public education recommendations to lawmakers in the near future.

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