About Teach The Vote

Teach the Vote is a project of the Association of Texas Professional Educators. ATPE's goal for Teach the Vote is to provide information to voters about the public education views and platforms of every candidate running for the Texas Legislature and the State Board of Education. ATPE is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse candidates but provides information to its members and the public regarding candidates' positions on public education issues and ATPE priorities.

The website is designed to encourage voters to think about their own views on politics and public education, understand ATPE's positions on education issues and consider candidates' education stances when casting votes.

About ATPE

ATPE is a member-owned, member-governed professional association and the preeminent educator association in Texas. It is the largest independent, nonunion educator association in the United States and the largest educators association in Texas. ATPE's benefits program provides its members with protection, advocacy and resources, which allows them to focus less on outside-the-classroom influences and more on providing a quality education for our schoolchildren. (Learn more about ATPE.)

ATPE's operations are guided by ATPE's tenets, the overall principles that have guided ATPE since its founding in 1980:

  • Professionalism - ATPE members are committed to making positive contributions to the education profession and the lives of students by maintaining personal and professional dignity by respecting and obeying the law, demonstrating personal integrity, and exemplifying honesty and ethical behavior; and assuming the responsibilities for professional teaching practices and performance.
  • Member-Owned/Member-Governed - ATPE members guide the association through their elected local, region and Board of Directors representatives and by participation at the annual House of Delegates.
  • Right to Work/Oppose Strikes - ATPE members believe educators have the right to teach without being forced to join any particular organization and that strikes or work stoppages are detrimental to children, the community and the profession.
  • Superior Services to Members - ATPE members believe their association should provide superior services and benefits to its members through a dedicated professional staff.
  • All-Inclusive - ATPE members believe all members of the public education community (including teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, retirees, teacher trainees, college students and the public) should be invited to join ATPE.
  • Leadership - ATPE members believe they have an obligation to be effective, proactive leaders in the field of education while representing themselves and their profession.
  • Collaborative - ATPE members believe in working with others to advocate positive solutions to education issues facing public education today.
  • Issues-Oriented Advocacy - ATPE members determine and advocate a platform of education issues in accordance with ATPE philosophy in a proactive, professional manner.
  • Independent Association - ATPE members believe ATPE should maintain its autonomy while collaborating with other groups throughout Texas and the nation.
  • Local Control of Public Schools - ATPE members support local public control of the local public school system through the elections of school board members and involvement of local community members.

About Teach the Vote's candidate surveys

ATPE conducts a candidate survey project each election cycle to enable candidates to communicate their views on public education to our membership and the general public. All known candidates for the State Board of Education and state legislative offices are sent an invitation to participate in our 2016 survey. Candidates who do not respond to our invitation receive follow-up phone calls and/or emails from ATPE staff members except in a few instances in which we are unable to locate an alternative method of communication with the candidate despite due diligence. In collecting contact information for candidates, ATPE relies on information provided by state and county political parties, news reports, Internet search engines, the Texas Secretary of State's office, private data vendors and the candidates themselves.

The candidate survey is an online form maintained on a private Web page. Each candidate is provided a link to the survey Web page. For identity verification, ATPE also supplies each candidate with a unique security code that is used to log in to and answer the survey. Candidates are informed that their survey responses will be included on an ATPE-sponsored website. ATPE also urges the candidates to keep a copy of the survey questions and their responses for their own records.

ATPE's 2016 candidate survey consists of open-ended questions and allows for candidates to submit additional comments at the end of the survey. ATPE does not edit the candidates' survey responses. The survey responses shown on our candidate detail pages represent the actual answers supplied by candidates and may not reflect the views of ATPE or our members.

For legislative voting records, ATPE identifies key votes that were taken and recorded on education-related legislation that was of high importance to our membership. The individual legislators' record votes are verified by ATPE staff members using public records supplied by the Texas Legislature, as well as data obtained through private vendors.

Additional candidate information found on this site is compiled from a variety of sources, including current and past ATPE candidate surveys, candidate interviews, ethics reports, official voting records, the candidates' own campaign literature and advertisements, media reports and websites where applicable.

Any questions about Teach the Vote or its website content should be directed to ATPE Governmental Relations or (800) 777-2873.