About The Texas Impact Network
Why We're Investing
House Bill 3 (86R) transformed public school finance in Texas. Passed by the Texas Legislature in 2019, HB 3 not only added $3.25 billion annually to fund public schools, but also created equitable, innovative funding opportunities that target our state’s highest-need students with up to $4 billion in additional investments.
These three data-proven policies are:
Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA)
Additional Day School Year (ADSY)
College, Career, & Military Readiness (CCMR) Outcomes Bonus
How We Do It
Broad, diverse and effective implementation
A diverse spectrum of school system partners representing a variety of regions and sizes across Texas demonstrate the equitable potential of HB 3 and its innovative funding opportunities through meaningful implementation that leads to improved student outcomes.
Regional technical assistance capacity to ensure continued support
School systems are provided relevant technical assistance by partners invested in their success and aware of what the region needs because they also live there.
Preservation of HB 3 school finance reform
The opportunities of HB 3 demonstrate the ability to improve student outcomes across Texas and policymakers sustain the commitments made in the 2019 legislative session.
Who We Serve
Ben Mackey, Executive Director
Ben Mackey serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Impact Network, a statewide non-profit that supports pioneering school systems in designing, implementing, and evaluating the evidence-based practices and strategies that were made possible by Texas’s historic school finance reform (House Bill 3) which was passed into law in 2019.
Prior to joining the Texas Impact Network, Ben served as the Chief of Research Evaluation and Design in DeSoto ISD from 2019 – 2022 and as the principal of Dallas ISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) from 2013 to 2019 where TAG was named the #1 high school in the nation four times by U.S. News and World Report.
As the Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Design in DeSoto ISD Ben managed multiple departments and workstreams, including Data and Evaluation, Research and Design, Grants, Student Support Services, Advanced Academics and Technology. In the three years in DeSoto, DeSoto ISD grew from a state accountability rating of a 67 ‘D’ with 50% of schools in the system receiving a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in the 2017-18 school year, to an accountability rating of 83 ‘B’ and 0% of schools receiving a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in the 2021-22 school year. This was accomplished while grappling with the global COVID-19 pandemic and bringing DeSoto ISD from the brink of financial insolvency to a healthy fund balance of ~$17 million.
During Ben’s tenure as Principal of TAG Magnet, TAG revamped its application process with a focus on equity and access, resulting in TAG becoming a federally recognized Title 1 school for the first time. Over this same time, academic achievement soared, with TAG reaching all-time highs in SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement achievement, proving what’s possible for students regardless of the background they come from.
Ben currently serves on the Dallas ISD school board as the trustee representing District 7, which includes areas of North & Central Oak Cliff, Cockrell Hill, the Design District and Downtown. Ben earned his Masters in school leadership from Harvard University and Bachelors Degrees in finance and history from the University of Florida and began his career in education as a high school math teacher and baseball coach at West Bolivar High School in Rosedale, Mississippi.
Farhana Rabbi, Deputy Director
As the deputy director of the Texas Impact Network, Farhana manages the daily operations of the program’s work streams with a particular emphasis on the components handled jointly by Educate Texas and the Commit Partnership.
Prior to joining TIN, Farhana was a program manager for United to Learn in Dallas, designing and implementing strategic tools, leading DEI development and managing community leadership programs. She also worked in Washington, D.C., for the state board of education, DC School Reform Now and Raise DC. She began her career with Teach for America in the Houston ISD.
She also serves as a freelance consultant and learning designer with collective impact partnerships, school districts and nonprofits across the country.
Farhana holds a bachelor’s in government, economics, and international relations and global studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in education from Johns Hopkins.
Sharon Crockett-Alexander, Director, Additional Days School Year
Sharon directs the Texas Impact Network’s portfolio of strategic initiatives to increase instructional time for students across the state to mitigate student learning loss from COVID-19 and summer slide. ADSY provides school districts funding to add up to 30 days of learning time and helps schools with extra coaching and support.
Prior to joining TIN, Sharon has 20 years of experience in education as a teacher and administrator, most recently as the principal of Edna Rowe Elementary School in Dallas ISD where she spearheaded the design of an ADSY Full Year Redesign calendar, adding 30 days of instruction for all students attending the school in 2021-22.
Sharon holds a bachelor’s in management from Jackson State University, a bachelor’s in elementary education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and a master’s in educational administration from the University of North Texas.
Sarah Jensen, Senior Consultant On College, Career & Military Readiness
Sarah Jensen has widespread experience as an education advocate and is dedicated to expanding students’ access to and success in postsecondary education. As the daughter of a middle school librarian and high school band director, Sarah grew up in a household of public school educators. Her own dedication to education was developed prior to graduate school during her time as an Admissions Representative for Texas Lutheran University counseling prospective students on admissions and financial aid.
Prior to joining the Texas Impact Netwok, Sarah served as the Research Analyst for the National Math and Science Initiative. In that role, she produced case studies highlighting the impact of NMSI’s teacher professional development program on teacher practices and student performance. Sarah also provided analysis on trends, issues, and perspectives in education and published findings through print and online media. While in graduate school, Sarah interned for the Texas Senate Committee on Education and the Government Affairs division of UT Arlington. She was also a Graduate Intern for The Meadows Foundation in Dallas where she assisted in the foundation’s strategic planning process.
Sarah earned a Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and graduated from Trinity University with a B.A. in Political Science and Communication.
Lynette Balkcom, Director, Rural CCMR Accelerator
Lynette is the Director of the Rural CCMR Accelerator Program at the Texas Impact Network. Prior to joining TIN, she primarily worked in public colleges and universities in Texas, including The University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and Lone Star College System, where she led the system implementation of House Bill 5 and served as the statewide community college lead for the Texas Reverse Transfer Initiative. Lynette has spent her career serving underrepresented and underserved populations through policy implementation and educational partnerships to address gaps among secondary and postsecondary educational institutions.
She has a BA in Psychology, an MS in School Psychology, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration with a minor in Educational Psychology.
John Fitzpatrick, Co-Founder
John is the executive director of Educate Texas, the Communities Foundation of Texas’ statewide education initiative. From 1997-2004, John had a dual role as the executive director of Skillpoint Alliance, a central Texas nonprofit, and vice president for education and workforce development at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. John moved to Texas in 1994 to attend grad school at the LBJ School at UT Austin, where he met his wife, Kristen Vassallo. Before that, he worked on Capitol Hill for Republicans and Democrats on education, workforce development, trade and other issues.
Todd Williams, Co-Founder
Todd is the founding Chairman and CEO of The Commit Partnership, the nation’s largest educational collective impact organization. He also served for eight years as the Education Policy Advisor to former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Todd is a senior trustee and former board chair for Austin College, one of the region’s leading liberal arts institutions located in Sherman, Texas. In 2017, Todd was appointed to the year-long Texas Commission on Public School Finance by Governor Greg Abbott and chaired its Outcome Committee. A public school graduate from Bryan Adams H.S. in Dallas ISD, Todd earned an M.B.A. with distinction from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 and graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1982.
Bridget Worley, Co-Founder
Bridget Worley is the Chief of State Impact for the Commit Partnership. Prior to her current role, she served as Executive Director of the Texas Impact Network. She started her career in education as a second- and third-grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and then spent time working in governmental relations at Van Scoyoc Associates in her hometown of Washington, DC.
In 2012, Bridget moved back to Louisiana to serve as the Policy Advisor to the then-newly elected and appointed Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). After her time at BESE, she joined the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) as the Policy Director, leading the state’s policy agenda around major initiatives including standards and accountability, teacher evaluations, parent choice, and early childhood education. Bridget transitioned to the LDOE executive team in 2015 and worked alongside Superintendent John White as the Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer. She oversaw communications, staffing and professional development, a $150 million operating budget, the annual strategic planning process, and all key organizational decisions for the Department before joining the Texas Impact Network in October 2019.
“I’m amazed at what our educators and school leaders have been able to accomplish in spite of every obstacle. ”
Bridget Worley, Executive Director of the Texas Impact Network