Recommended favorably by Texans for Public Education, a grassroots educators' group that has researched and rated candidates in the 2018 election based on their stances toward public schools.
Endorsed in the 2018 general election by Texas Parent PAC, a pro-public education organization that advocates for adequate and equitable funding of public schools, local control, teacher quality, and the prevention of private school vouchers. Bell also received the group's endorsement in the 2018 primary and primary runoff election.
No bills for this candidate.
1. If elected, what will your top priorities for public education be?
1.School finance reform 2.End unfunded mandates 3.Greater Local control
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?
Yes, it must become a budgetary priority and we must take a new, innovative approach on how we fund our schools long term. In the short term, we can prioritize the increased revenue the state is receiving from our booming economy toward education.
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?
The state should utilize third party managed care products and providers to reduce costs.
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?
Traditional defined benefit plan.
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.?
I disagree with "high stakes testing" as the sole means to evaluate students and, especially for the purposes of evaluating teachers. I do support a more comprehensive approach that measures a student progress that involves a sensible criteria with local input.
6. Would you support a state-funded across-the-board pay raise for all Texas classroom teachers?
Yes, the key is state funded!
7. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?
I believe it should not play a part in their compensation. As President of Forney ISD, I want my teachers to be focused on working with the student and helping them make progress. So much of a student's ability to progress is outside the control of the ISD and/ teachers. Such as, the nutrient, support and other life circumstance they are experiencing at home.
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?
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 protecting educators the opportunity to voluntarily join professional 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?
I serve as a Trustee in a DOI, Forney ISD, and I have not experienced anything but improvement for our students, faculty, administrators and stakeholders.
I am a conservative business owner, rancher and public servant. I have been in the electrical contracting business for 35 years and a school board member for 20. I understand the issues of taxes, government regulations and experienced the broken school finance system. I'm running to ensure my grandkids have the same opportunities I did. If elected, I'll work to find solutions, not make political points.
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