As we kick off 2018, the horizon is bright for both public charter schools and our association. As interim CEO, the prospect of selecting a permanent leader for TCSA is exciting. I am actively involved with the search committee to ensure we attract top candidates that share our passion for public charter education.  The association staff, board members, and committee leaders are making good use of time while the CEO search is underway. In the next few weeks, I will be hitting the road to visit with charter leaders to learn more about what we can do to improve our services and meet the needs of all TCSA member schools.

There are a lot of things we can be proud of at TCSA during our first decade. Our advocacy gains from last session – the first ever state facilities funding and the passage of the “minutes” bill from last legislative session are historic. In 2017, TCSA reviewed nearly 6,700 bills, provided more than 1,895 hours of training, and had more than 1,600 attendees at our annual conference. We can’t rest on past success. Now is the time to take stock of what works well at TCSA, but also focus on the future and ways we can be even more effective in the coming years.

Everything is on the table – from the way we set our legislative agenda, to the type of professional development we offer, to how we stay in touch and operate as a member led organization. Are there ways to make the member council more relevant to you, or ensure our legislative agenda addresses your concerns?  Do our trainings provide what your management team seeks? I don’t believe you should fix what isn’t broken, or make change simply for change sake, but we can always be better, stronger, and more efficient.  So now is the time to speak up, step forward, and share your ideas about the future of TCSA.

In the coming weeks we will launch several working groups that will re-envision core areas of operation: advocacy, training and services, and the member council. I encourage you to attend the next council meeting on February 1st. We will have more details at that meeting, and begin work on our advocacy agenda for the 86th Legislature. Now less than a year away, it’s time to focus on our future legislative goals. We will also discuss the rulemaking underway at the TEA regarding district-charter partnerships.

It’s my privilege to volunteer as your interim CEO. This is one way I can give back to the association that’s worked hard to advance public charter schools in Texas. Stay tuned, but more importantly – get involved in shaping the future of TCSA. Working together, our next decade will be even better than our first.