the schools our students deserve
public schools belong to the people
Public schools play a central and foundational role in a democratic society. Schools are the beating heart of our neighborhoods, and they should be at the center of conversations about the life of the communities they serve. Decisions about school priorities, school spending, and school services should be made democratically by the communities to whom they belong, through elected school boards, elected campus leadership teams, and through expanded participation in developing campus and district budgets that reflect the democratic will of students, educators, parents & guardians, and the broader community. The role of public schools should be expanded; their mission broadened to include service to a community that extends far beyond the school gates, and whose needs extend far beyond academic achievement.
Our schools should both prefigure a better world, and provide spaces in which our communities can work towards its realization. All students, parents & guardians, and school workers should learn and work in schools free from discrimination, that strive to manifest a vision of a socially just future society in the present, and center a complex understanding of academic achievement that extends beyond standardized tests and state accountability metrics.
How I Can Help You
nothing about students
Students’ voices should be centered in all decisions about the life of our schools. As the numerical majority in our schools, and those most directly impacted, students should drive decision-making, and should play an active role in shaping the schools in which they learn. Curriculum and pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning should reflect the complex cultural and social realities of our students’ lives. Punitive approaches to discipline should end at all SAISD campuses, with authentic, restorative and transformative approaches to discipline replacing them. Ownership of the Student Bill of Rights should be transferred meaningfully to students themselves, with students taught about their rights in school and student rights centered in all district decisions. District budgets, as moral documents, should reflect student priorities for spending. Every student should have access to rigorous, culturally relevant and sustaining instruction, and Ethnic Studies should be offered in every school.
- Center student voice in decision making
- Transfer ownership of the Student Bill of Rights to students
- End punitive and police discipline, with a commitment to investment in authentic, restorative and transformative approaches to discipline, and address the overrepresentation of students with learning and behavioral disabilities in punitive disciplinary outcomes
- Provide training for and implement curriculum and strategies that are culturally relevant, culturally-sustaining, and anti-racist and ensure that all students have access to Ethnic Studies courses
nothing about school workers without school workers
School workers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions. Teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, office staff, nurses, counselors and maintenance workers are the heart of our schools, and there can be no student success without their work. They should be respected as the stewards of students’ and their families’ dreams, and included as active participants in making decisions that impact the life of our schools. Workers should be fairly compensated, ensured a living wage, and paid hazard pay when working conditions are dangerous. School workers should be involved directly in all decisions that relate to school policies, practices, spending, and programming and respected as the experts, professionals, public servants, and essential workers that they are.
- Prioritize human life in all COVID-19 related decisions
- Fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions for all workers - including a return of the workday policy and continuing contracts
- Commit to a binding consultation process and advocate for collective bargaining rights for all workers
- Advocate against the privatization of our public education system and the expansion of charter schools that divert school funding away from our community schools
nothing about families without families
Learning is not confined to the classroom. Students’ families and communities are rich sources of knowledge and experience that, when recognized and allowed to contribute, can enhance and strengthen our education system. Public schools should view parents and caregivers as equal partners with school staff and provide authentic opportunities for them to participate in their children’s educational activities, the life of their children’s schools, and in governing decisions at all levels of the district. The cultural, linguistic, and social capital of our families should be honored, respected, and leveraged as an essential resource for student academic and social growth and success.
- Create community schools with wraparound services and democratic oversight
- Create a Parent & Guardian Bill of Rights
- Transform Campus Leadership Teams (CLT) and the District Leadership Team (DLT) into truly participatory decision-making spaces with meaningful parent and guardian participation
- Pass a resolution in support of undocumented and mixed status students, educators, and families, ensuring that school campuses remain sanctuaries from immigration enforcement
- Increase investments in adult education, early education, multilingual education and special education
for the common good
Our community’s needs extend far beyond the walls of our schools. Our students, educators, and their families are connected by complex webs of interdependence; the need for affordable and stable housing, access to healthcare, nutritious food, digital access, and equal protection under the law irrespective of race, gender, class, or immigration status connect each family to the social life of their community. School workers and school leaders must understand their roles as extending beyond the narrow academic needs of students, and into the social life of the communities they serve. Democratically-structured community schools - the people’s schools - should seek to serve the complex, interconnected needs of the entire community, and their leaders should be advocates for policies that support those complex needs at the district, city, and state level.
- Support movements and advocate for economic, racial, gender, LGBTQ+, immigrant, disability, language and climate justice
- Demand a housing first assistance model for families experiencing houselessness
- Advocate for a significant increase in construction of public housing across the city with reinvestment and rehabilitation of all existing public housing units and an end to tax cuts for developers
- Advocate for access to physical and mental healthcare, adequate and healthy food, and a safe environment as human rights for all