Senator to visit with education advisory council

A Texas state senator will address issues related to Fort Worth education at public schools in the city’s urban areas in a speech today, a university official said.

Jennifer Brooks, director of the Center for Urban Education Advisory Council, said Sen. Royce West will lead an engaged discussion at the Kelly Alumni Center.

“There are a lot of issues out there that are needing to be discussed in the field of education and a number of things that we need to look at in terms of where we’re going to go next, what’s going to happen next, and he (West) is on the committees who will be making those decisions once they go back into session next year,” Brooks said.

As an adjunct professor, Brooks said she worked to give children in urban schools the same opportunities for education as students in other schools receive. She said she hoped the event would be more of a conversation with the senator about the status of education in the state and about things that need to improve.

Brooks said the event invited students and members of the Center for Urban Education Advisory Council, which include professors and community leaders. There will also be educators from the districts the center works with, such as Fort Worth Independent School District and Crowley Independent School District.

West was unavailable for comment Thursday.

According to a biographical press release, West is a member of the Education and Higher Education committees. West has been a state senator for District 23 (Dallas County) since January 1993. He has worked on rewriting the Education Code, Tort Reform, Welfare Reform and revised the Juvenile Justice Code.

West has also advocated legislative action on such topics as higher education, at-risk youth and non-traditional families in the past, according to his biography on the Texas State Senate Web site. Most recently, West helped achieve the establishment of the University of North Texas at Dallas, a four-year program with its own law school, set to open its doors in fall 2010.