Fall 2015| Posse Houston Quarterly

  

UVA Scholar Lobbies for School Finance Reform

Zaakir Tameez is in his first year at the University of Virginia as a member of Posse Houston’s third Posse of Scholars on campus, but before arriving on campus he was demonstrating the kind of leadership and commitment that defines a Posse Scholar. 

While in high school Zaakir established the Student Congress in an effort to address the educational disparities between schools in his district. The congress now represents the more than 215,000 students at each Houston Independent School District Board Meeting.

“My school district is the largest in Texas, seventh-largest in America,” says Zaakir. “The district has so many different schools out there and everybody has a different experience, and that’s just not right.”

In April, Zaakir helped to coordinate a trip to Austin for Student Congress members to lobby for a school finance bill. Undeterred when the bill failed to pass, Zaakir co-wrote a 35-page amicus brief in favor of more funding for schools and filed it with the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected this coming spring, and will set the standard for every public school in Texas in an effort to ensure more evenly distributed funding among schools.

As he begins his college journey, Zaakir is thankful to have his Posse by his side.

“As I go off to college far from home and with an independence I've never known, I have to remember the values and lessons my parents, faith, and community have taught me,” says Zaakir. “Going to university with my Posse will help me stay rooted in the place I call home, and it will serve as a constant reminder for how grateful I am for all the people that got me where I am today.”

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