Friday, April 24, 2015

HB 3836--time for action!

Yesterday, HB 3836, which would allow DCCCD to offer a 4 year degree in Early Childhood Education after first giving our higher ed institutional partners the opportunity to collectively work together to solve our substantial teacher gap, was heard by the House Higher Ed Committee yesterday. We are grateful for the strong leadership of our area legislators in authoring/sponsoring this bill (Reps. Giddings, Koop, Anchia, Anderson, Meyer, Alonzo, Johnson, Laubenberg, Rose, and Villalba), as well as the strong testimonies provided by numerous Commit partners including Alan Cohen at Dallas ISD, Stephanie Mace at United Way, Melanie Rubin at Dallas Early Education Alliance and Terry Ford at Lumin.

  We were especially encouraged to hear statements of appreciation and agreement from several committee members on the need for this legislation, including noting the breadth and depth of the local coalition supporting this initiative. A very short video highlighting legislative response to the testimonies and the bill can be accessed via the following link: We need to encourage the House Higher Ed committee to vote the bill out of committee at their next meeting.

  To make this bill happen, we need all hands on deck to email the House Higher Ed committee members by Monday, April 27th to request that this bill be voted out of committee next week. The session ends in five weeks, so we are up against the clock.

 Sample email text and addresses for the committee members and their chiefs of staff are below. We have to have a hearing on the bill’s Senate companion (SB 1810), sponsored by Senator West, next week. Thank you for your continued support. Yesterday’s hearing was a great encouragement that together we are moving the needle on this critical legislation benefitting our youngest learners in Dallas County.

Sample email: Dear Representatives, I am writing in support of HB 3836, which would allow Dallas Community College to address the severe early childhood teacher shortage in our region by offering a four-year BA degree in early childhood education if local higher education institutions do not first opt to collectively address our severe workforce shortage. Please vote in support of this bill in committee on Wednesday, April 29, so that this critical legislation can be quickly heard on the House floor. We urgently need to expand access to high quality early childhood educator programs in our region.

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