East Texas superintendents meet for 87th Legislative Summit

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 10:37 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - School superintendents across East Texas gathered in Longview on Tuesday for the 87th legislative summit to discuss how recent bills that were passed in the previous legislative session could impact education.

The summit helped explain new bills to superintendents, so they can better understand them. Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox believes this summit was helpful because some of the details in the new bills could have gotten lost because of COVID-19 pandemic.

“This gives everyone an opportunity to catch up with what is in all of those bills because we have been so busy we haven’t had time to go in there and really analyze them, especially since they went to a special session this year and we didn’t have all that information,” said Dr. Wilcox.

Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford believes summits like these are important to help advocate for kids they serve as lawmakers return to Austin.

“We are always going to have to continue to work with our legislators to make sure the legislation that is passed is in the best interest of the 5.5 million students in Texas public schools,” said Dr. Crawford.

Part of the summit was a lecture from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. Dr. Wilcox agreed with Morath that it is important that districts do whatever it takes to make up for the face-to-face time students missed.

“It is going to be a daunting task, but there are a number of resources we have available to us that I think will get there,” said Dr. Wilcox. “I think we will be successful because we have to be successful. We owe to the children of the state of Texas to be successful.”

Dr. Crawford agrees the future will require some work to make up for lost time but he believes East Texas is on the right track.

“I do think that East Texas is positioned to come out of this thing extremely well. For the most part we have been inside of in-person schools for the last 18 months except for the little gap that we had in the back in of the spring of ‘20,” said Dr. Crawford.

Both superintendents believe under the leadership of Commissioner Morath that schools in Texas will be able to address the deficits many students are facing because of the pandemic.

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