Chamber work in education

Posted on 12/16/2019 by Mike Rollins

No doubt you have seen media and possibly social media reports insinuating the Chamber had some heavy hand in influencing AISD Board of Trustees to close schools. I can categorically deny any heavy-handedness by the Chamber.

Yes, the Austin Chamber of Commerce supports the strongest academic school system possible, as evidenced by more than $20 million it has invested the past 15 years in tutoring. We also provide more than 300 chamber volunteers each year to help all students graduating from high school complete their FAFSA in hopes of achieving their dreams of obtaining a postsecondary education that will lead them to jobs that will support their future families and provide a better quality of life. Additionally, more than $130 million in tuition assistance for low-income disadvantaged families has been secured through the Chamber sponsored FAFSA Saturdays.

Yes, the Chamber does support a modern education environment for all students, along with an equitable, quality education for all students.

Yes, the Chamber donated $10,000 to the Austin Education Fund to help pay for what we encouraged was needed to have a clear, effective communications effort if the school board was to close schools.

No, the Chamber was not in any way involved in identifying or advocating for any specific school closures.

Mike Rollins
President & CEO, Austin Chamber of Commerce