The enterprise of public education is huge in Texas. Consider the numbers; five million children inside 8,000 school campuses under the leadership of 1,026 Independent School Districts.More than 7,000 locally-elected school board trustees provide a conduit for ownership between individual school districts and their communities. Representing community values, these trustees help establish the district’s vision, mission and educational goals.Which brings us to a question worth asking: From across the state, do school board trustees ever join together as a collective body and advocate for public education?The answer is...yes. The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) makes available a grassroots platform that involves local, regional, and state level trustee conversations concerning educational issues. Known as the Delegate Assembly, a body of trustees representing school districts across the state meets annually. Their primary function is to finalize an agenda of advocacy issues that the Association will pursue before legislative and regulatory bodies. This Advocacy Agenda is made up of three main components; Cornerstone Principles, Priorities and Resolutions. Of the three components, the Cornerstone Principles provide a foundation for all other advocacy issues. The Advocacy Agenda also provides local school districts a beacon of unity. Many districts incorporate these statewide issues into their local legislative agendas. Public education is a shared ownership. It is important that all stakeholders be familiar with the Cornerstone Principles that guide trustees’ efforts to improve student achievement. Protecting the value of education and the pursuit for quality public schools is our responsibility. Make Education a Priority – Stay informed. TASB Advocacy Agenda Cornerstone Principles (Adopted by the TASB Delegate Assembly on Sept. 28, 2013)• Excellence in student achievement for all Texas students• Locally governed and locally controlled public schools• Rigorous accountability for academic progress• Adequate and equitable funding levels to provide an exceptional education• Strong family and community engagement to create optimal opportunities for each child• Opposition to the use of public funds for vouchers, tax credits and other mechanisms to privatize public education.• TASB’s Priorities and Resolutions provide more detail as to the specific advocacy positions adopted by local trustees. You can read them at www.gr.tasb.org Bobby J Rigues is the founder of Make Education a Priority, a Leadership TASB Master Trustee, and Aledo ISD Board Member www.facebook.com/MakeEducationPriority.