Intersect Ed

Intersect Ed

Where the stories of Texas public education policy and practice meet.


May 18, 2023 13 mins

Morgan Smith: Welcome to the Intersect Ed Podcast, where the stories of public education policy and practice meet. I’m your host, Morgan Smith.

Today we are talking about something that could make a positive difference in the lives of many Texas teachers and their students: high-quality mentorship.

The formalized practice of having more experienced teachers coach those newer in the profession could help with a major challenge facing ...

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 Morgan Smith: Welcome to the Intersect Ed Podcast, where the stories of public education policy and practice meet. 

I’m your host, Morgan Smith. 

Today we are talking about Texas teachers, and how much we pay them. Or I should say: how much we don’t pay them. 

What started as a slow drain — as stagnant pay forced teachers out of the classroom during the hardships of COVID, the economic downturn, and inflation — has now accelerated in...

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Morgan Smith: You're listening to the Raise Your Hand Texas Intersect Ed Podcast where the stories of public education policy and practice meet. I'm your host Morgan Smith, and today, we're taking on a topic that has become a marquee fight of the 88th Legislature, private school vouchers. 

On one side, we have our state's two most powerful elected officials, Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who say every par...

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Morgan Smith: You're listening to the Raise Your Hand Texas IntersectEd podcast where the stories of public education policy and practice meet. I'm your host, Morgan Smith. And today we're talking about the amount of money Texas pays to educate a student in public schools. 

This topic is notoriously complicated and can be very dense, but I've tracked down some very knowledgeable people to help guide us through it. We have three gues...

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As the 87th Legislative Session kicked off last January, there was one word that could be used to describe how many were feeling — uncertain. Uncertain about school funding due to COVID budget woes. Uncertain about the logistics of navigating a legislative session in the midst of a pandemic. Nonetheless, thanks to the efforts of public education supporters around the state, billions of federal COVID relief dollars are going to our ...

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Deep in West Texas is the tiny town of Presidio – a remote community that is 90 miles away from the nearest McDonald’s and more than 200 miles away from the nearest Walmart. So what does a remote city like Presidio have in common with more urban areas hundreds of miles away in the Rio Grande Valley? They are all communities lacking the infrastructure to provide reliable and affordable access to the internet to their residents.

With ...

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From students using restaurants’ WIFI to parents spending hundreds of dollars a month on hotspots for their children’s schoolwork, our state’s public education system has been forever changed by the pandemic. 

In this podcast episode of Intersect Ed (part 1 of 2), we focus on the digital divide — what it is, who is affected by it, how it is affecting Texas public schools and their students, and, most importantly, how experts and law...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed what schooling has looked like over the past year. It has entirely upended instructional models and brought about a myriad of new issues regarding the equity and accessibility of online instruction.

For some students and families, pandemic schooling has been unimaginably difficult. Other students, however, may have thrived off of this model. Moving forward, as online instruction becomes ...

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In the 86th legislative session, Texas lawmakers committed to increase funding for public schools by passing House Bill 3. That unity led to teachers getting raises, school districts getting funds to offer or expand full-day pre-K programs to eligible 4-year-olds, and taxpayers getting property tax relief.

This year, the pandemic presents major budget challenges for public schools. In the 87th legislative session, vouchers could put...

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March 18, 2021 19 mins

Educators are telling us it will take teachers – lots of skilled, well-trained teachers – to close the learning gaps sustained during the last year. But will those teachers be there when the districts start to hire? The pandemic didn’t create the challenges facing the teacher pipeline in Texas, but it has certainly made addressing that problem more urgent.

Our 10th episode of Intersect Ed, part of our legislative agenda series, exam...

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This Intersect Ed episode examines the misconceptions around students who are “missing” from their public school. Critics often place blame on educators saying they are not doing enough to find their students. What we know is the exact opposite: educators are going above and beyond to stay connected to their students.

As conversations around the state budget begin to happen at the Capitol, our public schools need more funding so the...

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We’ve said since the beginning that the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation Poll is for everyone. It is for educators, researchers, lawmakers, and communities. It represents the voices of all Texans about an issue that impacts all Texans. It is Texas’ poll.

The eighth Intersect Ed podcast episode features education experts from a variety of fields reflecting on the Foundation Poll data and how it impacts their work. This was always the...

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January 14, 2021 21 mins

It was March 2019 and early childhood education supporters, dressed in “pre-K purple,” flooded the State Capitol, asking legislators to “Stop the Yo-Yo” and fund full-day pre-Kindergarten for eligible 4-year-olds. We called it the Power of Pre-K Day.

Thanks to this and the efforts of so many in the early childhood field, the yo-yo finally stopped bouncing. Full-day pre-K funding was part of the bipartisan House Bill 3 investment in ...

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This school year, due to the pandemic, Texas public schools have seen steep enrollment declines that could have impacted their budgets. Thankfully the state has stepped in, and rather than funding schools based on their average daily attendance numbers, they opted to fund schools based on historical attendance data, something called “hold harmless.”

Unfortunately, the hold harmless funding model is set to expire on Dec. 31, and if i...

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September 15, 2020 15 mins

In our fifth episode of Intersect Ed, hosted by Raise Your Hand's Alejandro Izaguirre, we want to give you a landscape view of what school budgets look like for the upcoming school year and how the economic recession may impact school districts in the 2021 Texas Legislative session.

You will hear from Chief Financial Officers from school districts across the state, a facilities worker, a principal, and a bus driver on what it's like...

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In our fourth episode of Intersect Ed, hosted by Raise Your Hand’s Cody Huie, we’re giving you the opportunity to be a fly on the wall for two fascinating group conversations as school leaders from across the state planned, prepared, and reimagined school for the 2020-21 school year. 

While there are many unknown and unresolved challenges ahead, these internal conversations demonstrate that district and campus leaders are hard at wo...

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When a high school senior walks across the stage to receive their diploma, it often feels like they are taking their first steps into adulthood. Jackie Peña planned to speak on that stage and pour her heart out to all the other students. She says she is “the first [in my family] to graduate in the top 10 of my class. So graduation for me was kind of like my perfect dream.”

For the Class of 2020, however, that milestone ended up feel...

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When Texas schools closed in mid-March, teachers had to pivot almost overnight to a new model of teaching, while simultaneously dealing with crisis management. Over the following months, we saw social media posts of teachers serving meals, leading parades, holding up encouraging signs, or tutoring students across their lawn. As these social media moments began to fade, we wanted to learn more about what their daily work was like th...

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For many teachers across Texas, the days before Spring Break marked the last time they would physically be in their classrooms and spend in-person time with their students. Since schools closed permanently for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, teachers have been working non-stop to adjust to emergency remote learning. This episode hosted by Raise Your Hand’s Victoria Wang, focuses on one key question: How has this been ...

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