$30 – $40

The Future of Public Education

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The Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

2110 San Jacinto Blvd.

Austin, TX 78712

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Event description


Join The Texas Tribune for a two-day conversation on education policy in Texas. Panels will address an array of topics, including the future of school finance, the importance of early childhood education, accountability, teacher preparation, social and emotional learning, demographic inevitability, the high school-to-college pipeline and the demand for a workforce that can meet the challenges of our booming economy.


Monday, April 1

5:30pm: Registration Opens

6pm: The Future of Workforce is Public Education

  • Ruth Ruggero Hughs, chair of the Texas Workforce Commission
  • Robert Kaplan, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank
  • Mike Morath, Texas education commissioner
  • Raymund Paredes, Texas higher education commissioner
  • Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune

7pm: Opening Night Reception

Tuesday, April 2

8am: Breakfast and Registration Opens

8:30am: Public Education and the 86th #txlege

  • State Rep. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, vice chair of the House Public Education Committee
  • Nicole Conley Johnson, chief financial officer for Austin ISD
  • State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, vice chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee
  • Todd Williams, chairman and CEO of The Commit Partnership and education advisor to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
  • Moderated by Evan Smith, co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune

9:45am: Holding Accountability Accountable

  • Keven Ellis, member of the State Board of Education
  • Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, vice president of policy for ExcelinEd
  • State Rep. Ken King, R-Canadian
  • Michael McFarland, superintendent of Crowley ISD

11am: The States and the Feds

  • Jon Schnur, chairman and CEO of America Achieves and former senior adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Vice President Al Gore
  • Margaret Spellings, former U.S. secretary of education
  • Moderated by Sarah Darville, national editor for Chalkbeat

12pm: Lunch

12:30pm: Learning from the Best Leaders

  • Kim Alexander, superintendent of Roscoe ISD
  • Art Cavazos, superintendent of Harlingen Consolidated ISD
  • LaTonya Goffney, superintendent of Aldine ISD
  • Tom Torkelson, founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools

1:45pm: Everybody Love Pre-K. Now What?

  • Libby Doggett, former deputy assistant secretary for policy and early learning at the U.S. Department of Education
  • Betsy Price, mayor of Fort Worth
  • Miguel Solis, former trustee for Dallas ISD and candidate for Dallas mayor

3pm: It All Begins with Teachers

  • Holly Eaton, director of professional development and advocacy for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association
  • John Fitzpatrick, executive director of Educate Texas
  • Michael Hinojosa, superintendent of Dallas ISD
  • Cody Huie, vice president of programs for Raise Your Hand Texas
  • Moderated by Aliyya Swaby, public education reporter for The Texas Tribune

4pm: End

We Also Want to Hear from You

In tandem with this live event, The Texas Tribune has produced a Community Conversations toolkit on public education to help you bring the event to your community and catalyze a constructive dialogue on the most pressing issues faced by students, parents and educators.

We know that many Texans interested in these issues may not be able to travel to Austin to attend the event in person nor be able to view the livestream or video. That’s why we’ve created the “Future of Public Education Community Conversation Toolkit” — a step-by-step guide to hosting event watch parties in your community and sparking meaningful conversations on how the issues discussed at the event impact you.

Download our Future of Public Education watch party and community conversation toolkit here and find a watch party happening near you here.

Event Details

This event will be held at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Your $40 registration ($30 per person for groups of 3 or more) includes the opening keynote with light bites and a cash bar, and a light breakfast and lunch are included on Tuesday, Apr. 2. If the cost of this event is prohibitive but you would like to attend, please email us at events@texastribune.org. All panels from this event will be livestreamed here.

Getting There

  • If you need hotel accommodation, we have a room block at the nearby Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The University/Capitol (1701 Lavaca). Book here by March 25.
  • Paid visitor parking is available in the nearby Manor Garage (MAG) or San Jacinto Garage (SJG), both a short walk from the Alumni Center (parking garage map; parking fees are not included in registration).

The Tribune's mini festivals are modeled on the celebrated Texas Tribune Festival. These events bring together experts to present and generate productive conversations on major issues of the day.

This event is presented by the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, Raise Your Hand Texas and Commit. Major sponsors include Educate Texas, the Texas Association of School Business Officials, Texas Association of School Boards and ETS. It is hosted by Texas Exes. Media support is provided by KUT, Chalkbeat and KLRU. Foundation support is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Houston Endowment, the Meadows Foundation and the Sid Richardson Foundation.

Tribune events are also supported through contributions from our founding investors and members. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

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The Etter-Harbin Alumni Center

2110 San Jacinto Blvd.

Austin, TX 78712

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 1 day before event

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