Opt Out — Supporting Early Childcare — Weigh in on ESSA!
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Partnership Gearing up for
85th Legislative Session

Work is already underway on Partnership Priorities for the upcoming legislative session! If you are receiving this email, you are considered one of our members and you/your organization will be listed as supporting this year's priorities. You will find those priorities listed below.
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Summary of Partnership
for a Healthy Texas Priorities

  1. Ensure all Texas schools provide adequate, quality physical education to reduce the risk for obesity and related chronic diseases so that students are better equipped to succeed academically and socially.
  2. Include foods of higher nutritional value in vending machines on state property to give state employees the option to make healthier food choices that will reduce their risk for obesity and diet-related chronic disease.
  3. Make communities more conducive to regular physical activity and encourage Texans to walk, bike, and utilize public transportation by creating a task force to design a Vision Zero Action Plan for Texas.
  4. Recognize licensed out-of-school time providers who go above and beyond minimum state licensing requirements by adopting national standards for evidence-based healthy eating and physical activity.
  5. Ensure children served by licensed childcare providers receive nutritious foods and drinks to help them develop healthy eating and physical activity habits as they learn and develop in early care environments.

The Partnership Weighed in on Child Care Standards

Texas Health Groups Call on State to Improve Child Care Nutrition Standards

AUSTIN – This week a coalition of over 50 Texas organizations called on the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to improve child care nutrition and physical activity standards, explaining that proper child care policies are a key ingredient in an effective state strategy for combating childhood obesity. As part of the rewrite of Texas child care standards that occurs once every six years, DFPS is finalizing the new standards for child care centers in the state.
 “If Texas wants to cut health care costs, help students succeed in the classroom, and ensure more kids reach their potential, we need to put young children in a position to develop a healthy weight and healthy habits,” said Dr. David Lakey, chairman of the Partnership for a Healthy Texas, the coalition urging DFPS to take action. “Child care centers are a key member of the team for helping kids start off healthy and stay healthy.” Dr. Lakey previously served as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services and currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Population Health at the The University of Texas System.
Thank you to Texans Care for Children and Partnership Leaders for bringing a focus on health to this conversation. To read entire press release, click here
Karina Kling interviewed Adriana Kohler with Texans Care for Children on Capital Tonight. You can watch at the 14:40 mark here
You can also watch the KXAN story here and read the Dallas Morning News story here

Texas Education Agency wants to know
what you think about ESSA!

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced this week that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has launched an online survey offering parents, taxpayers and the general public an avenue to provide input on the state’s implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
ESSA, which is the new federal law governing K-12 education and replaces the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, returns a significant amount of decision-making on education policy to the states. As part of the process, each state is required to establish a strategic vision for public education and develop an overall plan to achieve those goals.
“The passage of ESSA has created a unique opportunity to inform Texas’ education policy,” said Commissioner Morath. “However, we need input from all parts of our state to ensure that, under ESSA, all students in Texas can receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the future.”

The online ESSA survey, which will take less than ten minutes to complete, is available at
The survey period will run through Nov. 18, 2016. A final plan is required to be submitted to the federal government by July 2017. NOTE: The Partnership will be submitting formal input via the Steering Committee, but we encourage all Partnership members to submit feedback separately and encourage you to emphasize the importance of physical education and health education being included in accountability and outcome measures. 
To learn more about ESSA and the state’s implementation of the federal law, visit

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