The Texas Association of School Administrators is a high-powered organization of superintendents and other education bureaucrats. They recently held an important legislative conference in Austin, dealing with pressing issues like stimulus funds.
Attendees got updates from key state senators and reps, like Senator Florence Shapiro, chair of the Senate Education Committee, and Scott Hochberg, vice-chair of the House Public Education Committee.
Pretty crucial stuff, you'd think. But the Houston school district decided not to send anyone to it.
Why? We asked, and the answer is...HISD was bigtiming the TASA. They had more important people to meet.
"When this conference took place, HISD officials had just gotten back from the Council of Great City Schools meeting in Washington where they met with US Department of Education officials at the White House and Dr. Saavedra had a meeting with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding the stimulus, so HISD had up-to-date information on the stimulus," HISD spokesperson Lisa Kinney tells Hair Balls.
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Let the peons meet with Texas people! We get our info from bigger fish!!
Kinney didn't want to dis TASA. "Our Director of Governmental Relations coordinates with TASA on state bills frequently; we know what bills they track and vice-versa," she says. "We work very closely together. Given that HISD officials had just returned from the meeting in DC and given our frequent contact with TASA, we didn't feel it necessary attend this particular conference."
Which, in these days of tight budgets and exchanging info on the web, could arguably make sense.
But HISD's absence was noted by some attendees, who wondered why the district wasn't there to push for its priorities.