Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools Hosted by the Department of Homeland Security - A Success!

Representatives from several private schools in Texas attended this informative 3-day workshop and reported back that it was well worth the effort to get there.  Ron Biba, the Facilities Manager from The Monarch School stated that the course, "provided us with a wealth of knowledge along with functional comprehensive materials that confidently enhance our existing Emergency Management Plan (EOP).  It gives us the tools to better assess our campus for vulnerabilities and implement preventative measures to successfully integrate our EOP with our community's first responders.  It was well worth the investment of time and a great opportunity for private schools."

More workshops are planned for future dates at the institute near Washington, DC.  Travel and registration is paid for by the Department of Homeland Security.  Contact the Texas Private Schools Association for more details - [email protected]

Who knew we would have to worry about these?  However, after the open carry (SB 17) and campus carry bills were fast-tracked for a hearing on February 12th, it came to our attention that our "protected status" as private schools may be in jeopardy in a committee substitute or amendment to these bills.  The bills themselves did not mention private schools specifically, but we submitted written testimony to ensure that our position is on record that we want to continue to have the authority to prevent or allow firearms on campus at our discretion as private institutions.

February Featured Schools

Congratulations to Christ Episcopal School, Gateway School, Jesus Chapel SchoolProvidence Catholic School, and St. Paul Lutheran School.  These schools are our featured schools of the month!  These are very different types of schools all commited to serving students and families with excellence.

Private Schools in the News!

It was a big month for private schools in the news.  Pineywoods Adventist Christian School in Nacogdoches was featured in a news clip from the local ABC affiliate. 

Another feature on Austin's KXAN profiled the Toscano family who sacrificed to send their three children to St. Stephen's Episcopal School and would like for other families to have that option available to them. Jose and Letty Toscano are active in lobbying for a tax credit scholarship bill that would allow corporations to donate to scholarship programs like the one he benefitted from.  He also spoke to families at the East Austin Parent Empowerment Summit to help other families locate resources to be able to have more choices in the school options for their children.

Save The Date!
June 10, 2015
Baylor University
Waco, TX
TPSA Workshop for
Administrators and Teachers!





Support HB 1043 By Representative Dwayne Bohac

Representative Bohac has been leading the charge for our Tax Credit Scholarship bill. This bill allows corporations to donate to scholarship granting organizations in exchange for a credit on their margins or franchise tax.  This legislation would allow private schools to stay private and autonomous while increasing access for families who could not otherwise afford private schools.

Rep. Bohac is a great friend to private schools and a legislator dedicated to providing opportunity for children who need an alternative to their local public school.  Please feel free to express our gratitude to Rep. Bohac and also please contact your own legislator to make sure he or she is aware of the bill and planning to vote for it!

We are still working on the bill to allow private schools to pass along related fees to parents who wish to pay tuition with their credit cards.  Other entities that are allowed to do this are government agencies including public schools as well as public and private colleges and universities.  Private PK-12 schools are the only schools not exempt from this regulation.  We have some legislators ready to help us, and we are working on finding the best path for success.  Stay tuned - we hope to announce a bill number by the next e-newsletter.

A bill we are opposing is HB 788 filed by Rep. Rick Miller.  This bill requires that any entity that is contracted by a public or private school for before or after school care at the public or private school be licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services Child Care Licensing.  We are not sure how many of our programs would be affected if this bill passes, but it is another example of an attempt to regulate operations at private schools that is unnecessary.  Please let us know of any potential impact to your school or program. 

School Choice Rally A Success


The incredible turnout at the National School Choice Week Rally in Austin is proof that this is an issue that resonates with Texas families.  An estimated 2,500 people arrived at the Capitol on January 30th to march and celebrate the fantastic educational choices that we have in Texas. 

We had buses that came from as far away as Carrollton Christian Academy north of Dallas and First Baptist Christian Academy in Pasadena and from just down the street in Austin like Hyde Park School who provided the dancers at the rally!  Seniors from Cornerstone Christian Academy in San Antonio took advantage of this opportunity to speak to their legislators about their policy concerns.  Students from Seguin Christian Academy took a picture with their State Senator Donna Campbell who promised to fight so that other children can get the same kind of great education that they are getting.

St. George's Episcopal School teacher Margaret Ruff got a little pep talk from Senator Konni Burton before she spoke at the rally.  Margaret gave an inspirational talk about why she loves being a private school teacher!

Update from CAPE

Survey Looks at Steps Involved in Choosing a Private School

What prompts parents to consider enrolling their children in a private school? What factors move them to settle on one particular school over another? And what do they think about the way they are treated during the application and admission process? A comprehensive survey of over 2,300 parents who recently experienced that very process yields some fascinating and valuable results for private school officials in charge of recruiting students and families.

The survey was conducted in May and June of 2014 on behalf of the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB), an organization that, according to its mission statement, is devoted to "meeting the admission assessment and enrollment needs of schools, students, and families." Engagingly presented as a train trip that parents take from first consideration of a school, through campus tours, into the application process, and finally arriving at a decision, the survey report, titled The Ride to Independent Schools, captures the journey from start to finish. Positioned throughout the text are helpful markers alerting admission officials about steps they can take to make the "ride" more pleasant and successful.

Find out more about the report in the February issue of CAPE Outlook.