More than 250 take part in public school financing meeting

June 7, 2018

SAN ANTONIO – More than 250 leaders in business, education, the public and private sector, and philanthropists gathered to discuss an age-old question – how do we fix the state’s public school finance inequity?

“Something has to be done so children throughout the state, especially in Bexar County, can have the best education possible across the board,” said Rebecca Brune, COO and president of the San Antonio Area Foundation.

The San Antonio Area Foundation hosted the Texas Public School Financing Regional Meeting in partnership with the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The deep dive discussion on public school financing was presented by the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, a statewide funding collaborative that empowers Texas philanthropy to invest and engage in effective public education policy and advocacy at the state level.

Brune said the meeting is one of several the Area Foundation will host to address education issues affecting area youth.

“The San Antonio Area Foundation has been long invested in our community’s future through thought leadership and funding to develop youth, while creating strategies for high school completion and beyond. Our goal with the TEGAC meeting is to empower attendees with knowledge and the tools to effect change in public school financing that has been needed for quite some time,” she said.

The meeting included a presentation by Jimmie Don Aycock on the history and current challenges of the state’s current public school finance structure. Aycock is the former chairman of the state Public Education Committee and represented District 54 from 2006 to 2017.  Jennifer Esterline discussed the latest research related to school finance. Esterline is the founder and executive director of the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium. Also, J. David Thompson II, an attorney with Thompson & Horton LLP, talked about the state’s reduced role in public school funding. Thompson represented 263 school districts in Edgewood ISD vs. Meno (Edgewood IV). 

The meeting concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Robert Rivard of the Rivard Report. Panelists included: Jennifer Cantu, senior vice president and community engagement manger, Bank of America; Celina Moreno, counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Kate Rogers, president of The Holdsworth Center; J. David Thompson II, attorney at Thompson & Horton LLP; and Brian Woods, Ed.D., superindentent of Northside ISD.

View photos of the event.

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