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Organized by Longview ISD in partnership with local businesses and civic groups, it is part of an ongoing effort by the district to raise awareness for education issues that impact all Texans, and the entire nation.

Legislative summit returns to Longview

Wed Sep 25, 2019

Area education officials congregated on Wednesday, Sept. 25, during the annual Texas Public Schools Legislative Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn in Longview. From state representatives to education lobbyists, a variety of speakers were on hand to talk about the 86th Legislative Summit that took place earlier this year.

Organized by Longview ISD in partnership with local businesses and civic groups, it is part of an ongoing effort by the district to raise awareness for education issues that impact all Texans, and the entire nation.

“Dr. Wilcox does a great job of putting it on and it has some great speakers, so I look forward to a great day today,” said Texarkana ISD Superintendent Paul Norton. “It’s always good to have events like this to make sure everybody is on the same page with the requirements and see what other school districts are doing.”

First started by state Reps. Jay Dean and Gary VanDeaver in 2016, the summit focuses on looking at how elected officials can support and represent schools.

One topic that was talked about in length was House Bill 3. The passing of the bill helped increase teacher pay and required lowering of property taxes but it also saw efforts aimed at helping students either don’t get much money or consideration such as dyslexia.

“House Bill 3 is transformative in addressing student populations that were hither to not addressed. Students that are dyslexic or English language learners (for example),” said Marty DeLeon who is an education lobbyist that gave a presentation on HB 3.

DeLeon spoke in front of the crowd on the numerous positives of the bill which was echoed by Norton.

“House Bill 3 has been a great thing. It’s a good start on making sure we appropriately fund education and make education a priority,” Norton said.

Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox also seems hopeful of the bill, stating, “I think House Bill 3 looks very promising for Texas education.”

Wilcox does state though that there are some concerns, including the rules. Over 300 pages’ worth of rules, to be exact.

“We feel like the overall impact is going to be positive, but we’re still concerned about what some of the rules might be, in certain areas such as dyslexia and special ed. But our largest concern with House Bill 3 is making sure that there’s sustainability on the gains made for teacher pay. We just want to ensure that our teachers get the respect they are due for everything they do for everyone else’s child.”