Ran unsuccessfully for the same seat in 2018.
No bills for this candidate.
The 2020 ATPE Candidate Survey will be available soon. Below are the candidate's responses to the 2018 ATPE Candidate Survey:
1. If elected, what will your top priorities for public education be?
Doing whatever I can to be sure that every child in Texas has the opportunity to reach his or her God given potential. I would attempt to achieve this goal by adequately funding public education by enhancing the state's level of participation, adequately compensating our educators and adequately funding the TRS. I am opposed to the letter grade rating system and feel it will be very difficult for our schools to implement and would almost certainly require additional compliance officers adding additional costs. Further, I believe our current high stakes testing system is both too expensive in terms of development and human resources and potentially counter productive relating to the use of classroom time. I would support efforts to enhance cooperative relationships between secondary schools, community colleges and industries/unions offering professional certifications. I believe that help shorten the distance between a high school student and an associate degree, four year degree and/or profession work in everyone's interest.
2. Is there a need to increase state funding to meet the needs of our student population? If so, how would you recommend securing more revenue for public education?
It is vital that the state increase its share of public school funding and return to our historic participation levels. The failure of the state to meet its share of education costs is hurting our schools, creating an ever expanding unfunded mandate on local property owners and restricting other local government services that rely on property taxes. Expanding the state's support will require an adjustment in the "uniform and equal" clause of appraisal regulations passed in the late 90s that gives a distinctive edge to larger corporate property owners over home owners and smaller businesses. Phasing this advantage out entirely could mean four to five billion dollars to the state over a budget cycle and even adjusting it will help. We're also spending around 800 million per cycle in border security which is a federal responsibility.
3. Healthcare costs for educators have increased dramatically and outpaced the state's contributions, with many current and retired educators now paying more out of pocket than their counterparts in other states or in other professions. As a legislator, how would you address this crisis to ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?
If we want to attract and retain professional educators we have to offer benefits that are reasonably competitive with other professions and we have to keep our commitments to our retirees. We ultimately have to address this on the revenue side as I recommended in the previous questions but we also have to have the commitment to moving education and educators forward as a state priority. Additionally our state leadership should be pressing the federal government to remove the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset provisions from Social Security so that our teachers are treated as well as other professions.
4. 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 plan that is more like a 401(k) plan, in which future benefits are not guaranteed?
It should remain a traditional defined benefit pension plan and I would support keeping it in that form.
5. What do you feel is the proper role of standardized testing in Texas's public education system? For instance, should student test scores be used for school accountability purposes, for evaluating teachers, for measuring student progress, etc.?
Testing should be a tool to assist teachers to better understand the needs and levels of individual students and appropriate approaches that would be useful to helping students improve. Having gone through some of the letter grade tutorials it appears to me to be an effort to be an effort to quantify variables that are very difficult to quantify and ultimately reach conclusions that are very difficult to measure. I do not believe that these should be used in evaluating campuses or teachers and only as a tool for working with students. If you tell someone their professional credentials rests on test results your shouldn't be surprised if they teach to the test.
6. Would you support a state-funded across-the-board pay raise for all Texas classroom teachers?
7. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?
What is performance? If you have a teacher who is outstanding with a student and also a great team player and advances everyone's capacity then that should be rewarded. Putting teachers in competition with one another doesn't sound like best practices for educators. we really should avoid creating an educational environment where for someone to win someone else has to lose.
8. Would you vote to create any type of voucher, tax credit, scholarship, education savings account, or other program aimed at paying for students, including any subpopulation of students, to attend non-public K-12 schools, such as private or home schools?
No. I'm flatly opposed to vouchers by any name. Vouchers won't open private schools for poorer students but they would be a nice bonus for people who already have kids in them. It is absurd to suggest that we can't adequately fund public education but can magically afford vouchers.
9. State law allows educators and other public employees to voluntarily choose to join professional associations like ATPE and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks at no cost to taxpayers. Do you support or oppose letting all public employees use payroll deduction for their membership dues?
I support dues check off. Forces that want to want to eliminate payroll deduction really want to eliminate associations.
10. Current law allows school districts with accountability ratings of "C" or better to become Districts of Innovation (DOIs) and exempt themselves from many state statutes, such as elementary school class-size limits, requirements for hiring certified teachers, and more. Would you recommend any changes to the criteria for becoming a DOI? Would you place any limitations on the state laws that can be waived by DOIs?
Yes. I don't think students are best served in over crowded classrooms or by teachers who lack certificates. I understand the problem these districts are facing but believe that we could address most of them by fixing our school finance problems.
No additional comments
Some events are submitted by third-party entities. ATPE does not endorse candidates. Publication of an event does not constitute endorsement of a candidate or event.
A NONPARTISAN VOTER EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS