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Stacey Swann
Texas House District 68






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Candidate Survey Responses


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

I would work to increase per pupil funding and salaries for teachers and other ISD staff. I would stand firm against all expansion of school vouchers.

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 not. I think that we should use state funding to improve our public schools rather than sending that funding to private 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?

The Texas Legislature seems to be passing an increasing number of bills that are either too vague to easily be followed or pass certain difficulties, like funding, onto others rather than being handled by the state. Any measures required must be accompanied by the funding needed to enact them. Many bills need more practical specifics. Legislators also need to revisit bills like these in future sessions and prioritize fixes and clarifications.

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?

Public schools should receive additional funding. Our current per pupil funding is entirely too low compared with nationwide averages. We should be spending more of the "rainy day fund" on essential needs like education.

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?

Teacher salaries must be raised for all, but they especially must be raised in areas where the cost of living has steeply increased. In addition, I would stand firm against any legislation that overly constrains what teachers can teach in their classroom or stock in the school libraries.

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?


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?

I would support any legislation that increased transparency rules around health care services and which promotes more market competition between insurance plans.

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.?

While a small amount of testing may be needed to do broad assessment of schools, I do not think test scores should tie to teacher pay or evaluating teachers. Lower scores are often tied to factors outside of a school systems control and accountability should be measured in a more holistic way. Teachers should not be forced to "teach to the test" as that negatively impacts the students' education.

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?

In general, the biggest weight must be given to the student population as a whole.

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?

At this time, I believe the TRS should keep the benefit pension plan in place for future, current, and retired educators.

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 support letting all public employees continue to exercise this right.

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