Notes & Noticias: A 100 for Public Education


Culturemap Austin has positive news to report about the recent demolition of Jumpolin, the family piñata business in my district. The SXSW party scheduled to take place on the now-empty lot of the site has been relocated by an out-of-state company due to public pressure. The company’s CEO affirmed that they did not know of the demolition and that they certainly did not wish to be associated with such actions. 

Communities are Key to School Success

Yesterday I filed legislation that will allow Texas schools to adopt a nationally recognized model called Community Schools. The Community Schools model is an alternative that promotes high academic achievement, provides needed support for students and their families, builds strong community partnerships and involves local communities in the planning for their school.
Through House Bills 1891 and 1892, schools would have the option of transitioning to a community school rather than being closed down or subjected to reconstitution, which often involves replacing some or all of a school’s staff members and essentially starting over.
The idea behind Community Schools is to transform the neighborhood public school into a community hub that brings together not only the teachers, parents and students but the community groups and business leaders.
Our schools do not stand alone; I am proud to do my part to support them.

Teal Tuesday is Next Week

Next Tuesday March 3rd is our first-ever “Teal Tuesday” at the Capitol. Teal is the color associated with ovarian cancer, a deadly disease that took the life of my friend Andrea Sloan last year.
I am proud to participate in the KK125 Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation has been formed by two of my colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives who lost their mothers to ovarian cancer. One of those colleagues is expected to file a bill that will include an annual screening for ovarian cancer, and I will support this legislation in the hopes of saving more lives from this silent killer. Please visit for more information.  

Lyceum Event

As a director of the Texas Lyceum, I invite you to the 2015 Texas Lyceum Public Conference (PubCon), “Keeping the Miracle Alive: Ensuring Texas’ Competitiveness.” We will address some of the short- and long-term challenges affecting our state’s ability to remain a top competitor in the ever-changing global market. PubCon attendees will hear a variety of experts deliberate on important issues impacting our continued ability to compete, issues such as including water, infrastructure, workforce and education.  With a brand new slate of state leadership, as well as a new group of committee chairs in the both chambers of the Texas Legislature, the 2015 PubCon will discuss short- and long- term solutions, as we work collectively towards a sustainable economic strategy.
Please join us at the Lyceum’s PubCon scheduled for Friday, March 6 at the Austin Hilton beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Heritage Festival featuring Rep. Dawnna Dukes

My good friend Representative Dawnna Dukes will be hosting the African American Community Heritage Festival this Saturday, Feb. 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Huston-Tillotson University. You can expect soul sensation Howard Hewett, Austin songbird  Sondra Johnson and many other great acts. In the event of inclement weather, all performances will be moved to the H-T gymnasium. Get ready for an afternoon of fun!

Eddie Rodriguez