Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) is a funders’ collaborative that was created in 2012 to unify grantmakers around a multi-year effort to build support for and improvement in public education in Texas in response to the historic cuts made to public education by the Texas legislature during the 2011 session. Foundations are directly impacted by these cuts and are responding with a united and respectful voice of concern.
Of the $5 billion cut from Texas public schools last year, $1.5 billion of that was in the area of discretionary grants, which is where the majority of private investments are made in order to support and improve public school reform efforts. These include technology grants, pre-K, science labs, Communities In Schools, and extended learning time.
Participation in TEGAC creates a fantastic opportunity for foundations of all sizes, grantmaking areas, and composition to learn the important role of policy and advocacy in impacting change in their communities and across the state of Texas. The time has come for foundations to engage in advocacy to tell “our side of the story”: (1) we are investment capital for innovation in education around school reform, and (2) in that way, we are also a resource for policy makers to inform public education policy, but (3) we have limited resources and can’t possibly fill the gaps left by the state.
The Consortium will serve as a unifying voice of education grantmakers around support of public education and will do three primary things:
1. Provide objective data to policy makers on the impact of budget cuts to public education and the impact on nonprofits throughout the state that rely on government and private philanthropy to serve Texas students, particularly those that are most underserved.
2. Mobilize foundation trustees statewide to communicate directly with policymakers and the public around education philanthropy’s message.
3. Channel/pool funds to provide grants to effective education advocacy and policy groups across the state, with an emphasis on the dissemination of relevant research, as well as a focus on communications and media campaigns aimed at increasing support for public education.
The mission of the KDK-Harman Foundation is to break the cycle of poverty
through education while promoting a culture of giving excellence.