By Morgan Montalvo
A two-hour forum sponsored by San Antonio's League of Women Voters on Monday evening offered the public a chance to hear from local experts about the state of public education in Texas.
The panel presentation and follow-up question-and-answer session featured two local school superintendents, a Trinity University education professor, and an adviser to Texas school boards. Retired North East ISD Superintendent Richard Middleton moderated the discussion.
Middleton says Texas school face a number of challenges, including how to deliver instruction relevant to a fast-changing economy, preparing new educators for tomorrow's classrooms, and broadening the high school-to-community college job training pathway. He says he sees educator attitudes changing about the decades-old "college for all" model.
Catherine Clark, a senior consultant to the Texas Association of School Boards, says if voters want to save public education, constant contact with state lawmakers is their first step. Clark says lawmakers missed another opportunity during this year's legislative session to definitively deal with school finance, but could redeem themselves during the approaching special session by setting up a commission to research education funding before they meet again in 2019.
Monday's forum was the first of three scheduled for this year by the local League of Women Voters chapter. The second and third events will address water and transportation issues, respectively.