(ALEDO, TX) Advocacy efforts for public education under the brand name Make Education a Priority will soon be found under the umbrella of the nonprofit organization, Friends of Texas Public Schools.
Months before the 2011 82nd legislative session, talks of severe reductions in state funding to public education foreshadowed the inevitable – an unprecedented $5.4 billion in cuts. A local grassroots effort to collect 5000 petition signatures with a message to our legislators to make education a priority grew and became a statewide initiative. Representing communities across Texas and led by trustees and superintendents, a majority of school districts came together by resolution adoption to magnify a simple but powerful message – Make Education a Priority.
Spearheading the grassroots movement in 2010, Aledo ISD school board trustee Bobby J Rigues used the slogan Make Education a Priority as a platform to advocate for public education.
"Protecting the value of education and the pursuit for quality public schools is a shared passion and responsibility found with school trustees and superintendents across Texas," Rigues said. "This particular platform has provided us the opportunity to advocate through the conduits of social media, public speaking, op-ed writing, and conference presentations."
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Make Education a Priority, Inc. became a nonprofit organization in February 2016.
While working with and learning from other nonprofit public education advocacy groups, one stood out. The organization Friends of Texas Public Schools and their mission to educate the public, dispel myths, and encourage community engagement resonated with Rigues and the MEaP Board of Directors. Conversations between both organizations highlighted the benefits of working together. As a result, Make Education a Priority, Inc. will be terminating its nonprofit status and will be taking the MEaP brand under the flagship of Friends of Texas Public Schools.
"Through the MEaP brand, we are excited about the opportunity to help FOTPS achieve its mission for the benefit of public education. FOTPS founder and CEO Scott Milder and Executive Director Blake Cooper have been great mentors to us,” Rigues said.
FOTPS CEO Scott Milder said, Bobby J Rigues and the Board at Make Education a Priority have built an incredibly successful brand that has lived up to its name.
"We were thoroughly surprised but incredibly honored when they approached us about merging the MEaP organization and brand under the umbrella of Friends of Texas Public Schools,” Milder said. “We will proudly host their good work."
Friends of Texas Public Schools is a 501c(3) nonprofit, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring public confidence in our schools by promoting their many strengths and achievements. To learn more visit www.FOTPS.org.