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8.5% is the arbitrary benchmark rate set by the Texas Education Agency for the number of Special Education Students in a school district that may receive Special Education.  Even children with severe disabilities, including deafness and blindness, can't always get special education. 

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Texans Together Recognized at National Night Out!

Each year on the first Tuesday of October, communities gather to celebrate National Night Out.  Designed to increase awareness of local anti-crime efforts, National Night Out is a great way for families to meet their neighbors, and the local law enforcement officers, and have fun while doing it!  But this year’s National Night Out was a special one at The Mint Center, a project of Texans Together’s “Apartments are Communities” initiative.  Congressman Al Green, representing Texas’ 9th District, awarded Texans Together a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for our work to build strong, safe, and meaningful communities.  

More than 100 neighbors participated in The Mint Center’s National Night Out celebration.  With free food and drinks, face painting, booths from local businesses, churches, and non-profits, as well as live music, the event was a huge success and a fun night for everyone who attended.  

ObamaCare is Here!

Yesterday morning, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Health Insurance Marketplaces went online and Americans all across the country started shopping for health insurance.  Commonly called an Exchange, this online tool will help millions of people get quality, affordable health coverage for themselves and their families. The enrolling process is easy and you can get started today.

Are You Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace?

By Travis Sheive

Starting on October 1st, millions of Americans will be eligible to enroll in private, affordable health insurance through the new Health Insurance Marketplace.  What is the Marketplace?  How does the it work?  Do my family and I qualify to enroll?  These are just a few of the questions Americans have about the new program, but luckily there are plenty of resources out there to help.

The Health Insurance Marketplace (commonly called an “exchange”) is an online resource allowing individuals and families to shop and compare health insurance plans, similar to the way sites like Expedia or Travelocity offer airfare.  After filling out a short questionnaire to assess your health care needs, you’ll be able to choose between the plans available in your area, and find out whether or not you qualify for a federal subsidy.  

KIDS: Denied!

And Now, A Few Words...

County Judge Ed Emmett's Message: Working People Don’t Matter!

Tens of thousands of working people in Harris County this summer signed a petition for a vote to raise $35 million a year to provide high quality early education for our children.  One man – County Judge Emmett – disregarded the will of over 85,000 registered voters by refusing to place the matter on the ballot. He refused despite the law's clear mandate that he "shall immediately" place citizen petitions on the ballot. To add insult to injury, a politicized panel of Texas judges, without even giving a reason, let him get away with it. Shame on them.

HPJC: An Economic Justice Conference

An Economic Justice Conference

On Sat Sept 7, hear Economist Dean Baker on the current state of the economy.  Explore how immigration, women's issues, workers, environmental concerns, students' issues, affordable healthcare, and racism are interconnected with each other and the economy.  Take away ideas and skills to address the challenges of this economy from workshops on creating co-ops, community organizing, living sustainably, staying in for the long haul, and more. Click Here for More Info


Let The People Vote

And Now, A Few Words…

Thank you for supporting the Early to Rise petition to place an early education proposition before Harris County’s voters. Because of you, the Early to Raise Campaign submitted 150,000 signed petitions to place the measure on this November’s ballot. Mike Sullivan, the County Tax Assessor-Collector, certified yesterday that the campaign has submitted the required valid signatures.

We are deeply disappointed that County Judge Ed Emmett has refused to place the measure on the ballot—ignoring the wishes of 150,000 Houstonians, the mandatory statute, and the needs of our kids for a good educational start.

The campaign filed suit late yesterday to order the County Judge to place the matter on the ballot, and I am confident, as an election law expert, that the measure will be on the November 2013 ballot. The law is clear that if the required signatures are submitted, then the initiative must go on the ballot-- regardless of whether the elected official dislikes it or thinks it is not authorized.  Voters get to decide the matter before the courts will get involved. (I am also confident the statute authorizes the early education proposal).

Please help us win this campaign for kids and get involved. Donate for our GOTV and social media campaigns and volunteer to help us.

The battle has just begun.


Fred Lewis


Texans Together Education Fund

Donate to Texans Together!

Houston Rockets Pre-K to Top of the Priority List

From The American Prospect

In Texas's Harris County, a major early childhood education initiative offers a test case for the rest of the country.

It’s hard to find a politician these days who doesn’t at least pay lip service to the idea of “early childhood education.” But actually improving pre-kindergarten remains an enormous hurdle—and in some states the situation has gotten worse. While a number of states made investments in pre-K 10 or 15 years ago, the 2010 Tea Party wave, combined with budget crises in many states, led to big cuts even in states that already had minimal pre-K funding. In the 2010-2011 school year, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities—a progressive economic think tank—reports that 12 states reduced enrollment in pre-K programs while others shortened the number of school days or found other methods of scaling back. It’s not much better at the federal level. While the Obama administration bandies about a new plan to expand pre-K and integrate it with the rest of public education, the sequestration process meant a $350 million cut to Head Start, the public preschool program for low-income three- and four-year olds. For many local activists, particularly in anti-Obama states, help isn’t likely to come soon from either the state or federal level.

For our children This pre-K program deserves a vote.

From the Houston Chronicle Editorial Page:

Editorial Link


Copyright 2013: Houston Chronicle

8:00 PM

It looks like Harris County will vote on the future of the Astrodome this November. If we can get $200 million on the ballot for a convention center, we should be able to get a vote on $25 million for children's education. Texas doesn't usually do democracy by referenda. Unlike places like California, you can't just put a law up for a popular vote by getting enough signatures. But thanks to an antiquated Texas law, proponents of expanded pre-kindergarten education in Harris County think they have found a way to turn a petition drive for pre-K funding into a slot on the November ballot. The program is called Early To Rise, and we think it deserves consideration on Election Day.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia Announces Support for Early to Rise Campaign

Sheriff Garcia talks about Early To Rise

(Houston, TX)  Today Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced his support for the Early to Rise Campaign, which is seeking  to create a dedicated funding stream to improve the quality of early childhood education through a ballot measure in November. As the lead law enforcement officer tasked with overseeing public safety and the county jail, Sheriff Garcia explained the critical importance of placing this item on the November ballot.

Advocates for Immigrants Up the Ante in a Capitol Sit-In That Brings Arrests

T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Eliseo Medina, center, of the Service Employees International Union was among those arrested Thursday in Washington as part of an effort to push for an immigration overhaul.

From The New York Times


 Published: August 1, 2013

WASHINGTON — Seeking to send a message to lawmakers as they leave to face their constituents over the August recess, 41 leaders of groups supporting an overhaul of the immigration system held a noisy but peaceful sit-in on Capitol Hill on Thursday and were arrested, in an escalation of their tactics. Just after midday, the protesters filed onto Independence Avenue near the Capitol and sat in the street, unfurling a banner that said “Keep Our Families Together, Immigration Reform Now.” With a crowd of several hundred cheering from the sidewalk and calling for “citizenship now,” the protesters were handcuffed one by one and whisked away in police vehicles.


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Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296



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by Dr. Radut