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Jeffrey Barry
Texas House District 29



Insurance sales


3503 Boxwood Gate Trail, Pearland, TX, 77581

Additional Information

Advanced to a runoff for Texas House District 29 in the 2024 Republican primary election.

Supported by one or more pro-public education organizations in the 2024 Texas primaries.

Candidate Survey Responses


1. If elected, what are your top priorities for public education?

Increase the base allotment and add a cost of living increase annually

Reduce class sizes

Bring some sort of discipline back into the classroom with the Support of TEA and administrators

2. Voucher programs take many forms (tax credits, scholarships, education savings accounts, etc.) and are either universal or aimed at specific subpopulations (special education students, low-income students, students attending schools with poor A-F accountability ratings, etc.). Would you vote to create a voucher program of any type to pay for students to attend non-public K-12 schools, such as private or home schools?

I would have a very hard time with voting for this considering that the public schools in our area are stellar. Our district is not a failing district. We should tie Charters and Private school vouchers/ESAs to proximity to failing schools.

3. In 2023, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 3 requiring a number of new school safety measures. However, many believe the Legislature did not adequately increase funding to cover the cost of the mandates in HB 3 or other locally adopted school safety measures. How would you work to make schools safer and ensure such initiatives are properly funded?

I agree. In Pearland ISD a SRO cost $130k/yr. The reason we didn't have them at every campus was due to cost. I am opposed to unfunded mandates for cities/schools/counties and I will work to close the gaps. We must provide adequate funding for SROs in schools. If the Legislature requires it then we must have a mechanism to pay for it.

4. Despite a record-breaking surplus of $38 billion during the 2023 legislative session, school funding formulas were not increased to keep pace with inflation since they were last adjusted in 2019. Do you believe Texas public schools should receive additional funding? If so, how should the state pay for it?

I believe that the increase in public school funding of the base allotment should be tied to CPI thus giving the schools a built in increase annually and there should not be any additional funding needed if it is cost of living as other fees and taxes would have increased by that amount through the CPI increase. With the $38B surplus, we should have used some of that money to strengthen Schools, Roads/Bridges, First Responders/SROs and water resources-the basics.

5. Texas has faced growing teacher shortages in recent years, with many schools hiring uncertified teachers to fill the gaps. How would you work to ensure Texas public schools have an adequate number of trained and certified teachers?

Teachers are leaving the public schools because they have lost control of the classroom and they have increased TEKs. More work with less control. We need to bring some form of discipline back to the classroom and build a better report with parents. Teachers need support in the classroom from administration to TEA.

6. Inadequate compensation hampers the recruitment and retention of high-quality educators. Do you support a state-funded across-the-board pay raise for all Texas educators?

Yes. A pay raise from the State level would just be another unfunded mandate to schools. It would have to be tied to a revenue stream from the State and required to go directly to Teachers.

7. The high cost of health insurance available to educators is a significant factor decreasing their take-home pay. How would you address the challenge of rising health care costs facing Texas educators and ensure access to affordable health care?

The cost of healthcare is not just a Teacher problem, it is a Country wide problem. We desperately need healthcare reform and eliminate the ACA. We need to allow schools to leave TRS and find a more affordable solution as the one they have now is way too expensive and once the school gets in they can't get out. This is very bad for schools.

8. What do you feel is the proper role of standardized testing in the Texas public education system? For instance, should student test scores be used as a metric in determining teacher pay, school accountability ratings, evaluating teachers, measuring student progress, etc.?

I am opposed to "teaching the test" measures. There MUST be other ways we can determine the level of retention. I am not a fan of tying funding or pay to these measures because every class is different. We need to get teachers back to teaching the classroom and reducing class sizes so teaching can become more meaningful to each student in the classroom. We need to find another form of means testing.

9. In your opinion, what is the proper balance between accommodating an individual parent’s or student’s wishes and the taxpaying community’s interest in directing and maintaining an optimal educational environment for the student population as a whole?

The taxpaying community is a means to fund schools. The parents are the ones who should have a say in how their kids are educated. We need to be more open to parents in allowing them to see curriculums. The further away we keep parents the harder it is going to be to build trust with the parents. I believe that trust is what has been lost in our public schools we need to be forthright in gaining the parent's trust again. Once the trust that we are doing the right thing is there then we can really get back to controlling the classroom.

10. Do you believe the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) should be maintained as a traditional defined-benefit pension plan for all future, current, and retired educators, or do you support converting TRS to a defined-contribution structure that is more like a 401(k) plan, in which future benefits are not guaranteed?

There are risks to TRS and Teachers if Teachers are allowed to pull out their money before retirement. The current TRS system relies on larger amounts of investments to pay for the retirement of existing Teachers and to guarantee the retirement of future Teachers. If Teachers are allowed to pull out their money early then the entire system becomes unstable and could be lost. I am more inclined to err on the side of stability and keep the TRS system.

11. State law allows educators and other public employees to voluntarily choose to join professional associations such as ATPE and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks at no cost to taxpayers. Do you support or oppose letting all public employees continue to exercise this right?

I would want them to OPT-In to begin and annually upon renewal. If this doesn't cost the taxpayer anything and the educator is not "joining" an association without their permission then I am fine with it.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey

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