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COVID and the Commissioners: An Education Conversation

On behalf of our team at Educate Texas, thanks to those of you who could join us for COVID and the Commissioners, our virtual conversation with Commissioners Harrison Keller with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and Mike Morath with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on education in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a follow-up to our webinar, please see the resources below:

Webinar Notes 
Our students now confront a spectrum of new challenges from early childhood to higher education, and opportunities for Texas philanthropy to positively engage continue to emerge. Please find our notes from the webinar here.  

Help for Non-Profits 
North Texas agencies in urgent need to cope with emergency services relating to COVID-19 should consider an application to North Texas Cares. As a funders’ collaborative spearheaded by the Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), The Dallas Foundation, North Texas Community Foundation and United Way, North Texas Cares is accepting proposals relating to COVID-19 relief on a rolling deadline. You can learn more about CFT’s COVID-19 response here.

The Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium (TEGAC) team at Educate Texas is gathering an index of resources offered and efforts undertaken by its members to respond to COVID-19 throughout Texas. You can read more on the TEGAC blog.

From our friends at United Ways of Texas (UWT), Texas Nonprofits is a new hub for non-profit organizations to access COVID-19 resources, information, and tools to help keep their operations on track during this outbreak. We also encourage you to share their COVID-19 survey with your grantees and non-profit professionals in your network. Responses will help UWT and other partners that support the nonprofit sector to determine what types of resources are crucial at this time. 

What’s Next 
Every day of this outbreak, we’ve awoken to the same basic truth: we are living history. Commissioner Morath put it plainly: to meet the scope of emerging need, education is undergoing its single greatest (and swiftest) shift in over a century. The impact of this shift will linger and, in ways that will be unpredictable, last long after COVID-19 has left the scene. The way forward for Texas students is one we need to build together.

We will be hosting another call with this group in one month, continuing the conversation we’ve started and exploring new avenues for philanthropy to partner in the transitions underway in education in the short-, medium- and long-term.  

If you would like more information on how you can provide philanthropic support for the K-12 efforts that emerge, please contact Amy Desler at For folks who would like to explore opportunities to support emergency aid in higher education, please reach out to Melissa Henderson, Associate Commissioner for Development at the THECB at
A special thanks to our keynote speakers Harrison Keller and Mike Morath for sharing their time and expertise with us, as well as their teams at THECB and TEA for helping us make this webinar possible.  Thank you also to our excellent panel of non-profit and foundation leaders – Wende Burton (CFT), Dr. Wynn Rosser (T.L.L. Temple Foundation), and Adrianna Cuellar (United Ways of Texas) – for highlighting the incredible work to-date undertaken by Texas philanthropy in response to this crisis and what challenges they see emerging in our sector.  

As always, our Educate Texas team is available for any items or information – please feel free to reach out to Jennifer Esterline at or Amy Desler at