Learn more about Patrick and Van de Putte

Election Day is now only 100 days away. Many important races will be decided on Nov. 4, including high-profile statewide contests for Texas governor and lieutenant governor. Be an informed voter by learning about the candidates’ viewpoints on public education. Teach the Vote makes it easy by providing you with background information, voting records, candidates’ survey responses and additional research compiled by ATPE staff.

Visit our Take Action: Resources page to view new profiles of the Republican and Democratic nominees for lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte. Profiles of the gubernatorial nominees will be provided soon. Find profiles of all candidates for the Texas Legislature and State Board of Education on our 2014 Races search page.

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2 thoughts on “Learn more about Patrick and Van de Putte

  1. Charles Moore

    Through this election cycle I have come to realize that ATPE has been used to bolster liberal agendas. I am disgusted that an organization that I believed was concerned with teachers and students has become a political arm of the Democratic Party. This is not the organization that I joined 20 years ago. Instead of pushing the liberal agenda why not work on getting the teacher retirement offset repealed? Why not work on getting parents and students held more responsible for their actions? The only reason I stay in ATPE is for the legal aide. I need that assistance to protect myself from the liberal agenda that this organization has come to espouse.
    So let the bashing begin.

    Reply
  2. Brock Gregg

    Mr. Moore, thank you for your input and your comment. In answer to your questions, we have a long history of working on the social security offsets, most recently on a trip to Washington DC in June 2014, (a summary is in an earlier blog post). ATPE has testified before Congressional committees on multiple occasions over the years regarding the offsets. We are part of a national coalition along with the Texas Retired Teachers Association and many other groups, formed to fight for social security fairness for public servants. We have worked with Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Woodlands) for many years to file legislation multiple times to provide fairness to the WEP offset formula and also other Congressmen on both sides of the aisle to repeal the offsets altogether. We hope to make some progress in the next Congress, but seriously, the term “that would take an act of Congress” has taken on a whole new meaning over the last few years with the gridlock in Washington, but we have faith and keep battling on this issue. Your second question about getting students and parents to take more responsibility for their actions is also an important issue that is in our legislative program. We made some strides in that direction last session by working with House Public Education Chairman Jimmy Don Aycock (R-Killeen) to pass House Bill Five which dramatically lowered the number of standardized tests that students have to pass in high school. This change puts the ball back in the hands of parents, students and teachers to make sure that the students take responsibility for their learning and customize their learning experience to fit their career choice, whether that choice is to go through college or straight into the workforce.
    With regard to your comment about liberal agendas. I would need more information on your perspective to give you a more informed answer. We are non-partisan and collaborative in our approach to advocacy. We only focus on education policy issues and our legislative program is adopted annually by our members. The core issues in education and therefore the issues we advocate have not changed much in the twenty years of my employment here at ATPE. Our advocacy agenda and issues are neither conservative nor liberal, in my opinion, they represent the critical issues in public education today and come straight from educators. In my experience, however, the political climate has definitely changed in that same time period and education policy in general has become very political and unfortunately very partisan in this political climate. We have always encouraged educators and the public at large to vote for people who agree with us on education issues, regardless of party. Otherwise our education agenda approved by our members has fewer allies to push forward on the issues you mention above and to accomplish the rest of our program. This website, for example includes data and information on the education platform of every major party candidate running for office in Texas, regardless of their party. All of that information is gleaned from public documents and our own survey that we send to all candidates. We then encourage educators and the public to use the teach the vote resource before voting, and to make public education issues a priority when they go vote. I don’t think the ATPE agenda has changed, our tactics have not changed, but maybe the types of elected officials who support our agenda have changed in this hyper-partisan atmosphere. That is my opinion and I hope I answered your questions. I am happy to discuss this further with you online, or offline if you would like to contact me at bgregg@atpe.org.
    Brock Gregg
    ATPE Governmental Relations Director

    Reply

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