First elected to the Texas House in 2018.
In the 2018 election, Goodwin was recommended favorably by Texans for Public Education, a grassroots educators' group that 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.
Voted for a major school finance and reform bill providing $6.5 billion in increased funding for public education and $5 billion for property tax relief.
House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 3, 2019, the House voted to approve the bill on third reading. (Record vote #159. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.)
Voted for an ATPE-supported educator retirement bill making the TRS pension fund sound by increasing contribution rates and authorizing a one-time 13th check for retirees.
Senate Bill 12 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 25, 2019, the House voted to approve the bill on third reading. (Record vote #661. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.)
Voted for an ATPE-supported school safety bill offering funding to implement school safety improvements and provide mental health resources.
Senate Bill 11 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 22, 2019, the House voted to approve the bill on third reading. (Record vote #1610. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.)
Voted for a floor amendment to Senate Bill 11 requiring the state to identify regional resources that schools can use to address students' mental health needs. The amendment was based on Rep. Allison's HB 4414, a bill supported by ATPE.
House Floor Amendment #8 by Rep. Steve Allison (R-San Antonio) to Senate Bill 11 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. During the House floor debate on this school safety bill, Rep. Allison offered Floor Amendment #8 to improve mental health resources in schools. The amendment passed on May 21, 2019. (Record vote #1579. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.) Procedural note: This amendment was later reconsidered and amended before being adopted by the House again. (Record vote #1600. View an official record of that subsequent vote in the House journal.)
Voted against a bill that would have weakened the 22:1 cap on elementary school class sizes. ATPE opposed the bill.
House Bill 1133 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 9, 2019, the House voted to defeat the bill on second reading. (Record vote #1244. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.)
Voted for an ATPE-supported bill that would have funded and strengthened mentoring programs for teachers.
House Bill 102 by Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 9, 2019, the House voted to approve the bill on third reading. (Record vote #197. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.) HB 102 did not get heard by the Senate, but its language was incorporated into HB 3 that did pass and become law.
Voted for a bill to require certain school districts to assign properly certified teachers to students in elementary grades and prevent students from being taught by first-year teachers in consecutive years. HB 1276 would have applied to school districts with at least 5,000 students, unless the district was exempted under the District of Innovation (DOI) law or received a hardship waiver from the commissioner of education. The bill was designed to prevent students from being assigned for two consecutive school years to teachers with less than one year of experience or teachers not certified in the subject being taught as part of the foundation curriculum. Exceptions were provided for new transfer students and students whose parent or guardian consents to the placement. ATPE supported the bill.
House Bill 1276 by Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D-Houston), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 25, 2019, the House voted to approve the bill on third reading. (Record vote #746. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.) The bill ultimately died after it did not get heard in the Senate.
Voted for a floor amendment to House Bill 3 to increase the transparency and efficiency of charter schools by requiring them to undergo an audit of their fiscal management prior to expanding or opening new campuses and to share the audit results on their website. ATPE supported the amendment.
House Floor Amendment #15 by Rep. Ernest Bailes (R-Shepherd) to House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. During the House floor debate on the school finance bill, Rep. Bailes offered Floor Amendment #15 on charter school transparency and efficiency. The amendment passed on April 3, 2019. (Record vote #153. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.) The Senate later stripped the amendment out of the bill.
Voted against a bill that would prohibit school districts and other local governmental entities from funding legislative advocacy efforts or paying membership dues to organizations that engage in legislative advocacy.
Senate Bill 29 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 20, 2019, the House voted to defeat the bill on third reading. (Record vote #1519. View an official record of the vote in the House journal.)
RESPONSES TO THE 2020 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:
1. If elected, what will be your top priorities for public education?
My top priorities are: 1) ensure we have a sustainable source of funding for public education by adopting an automatic annual increase in the basic allotment of either 1% or the rate of inflation, whichever is greater, and by adopting new or increased revenue streams; 2) provide additional training and resources for teachers working with our special education population; and 3) implementing a cap on the growth of charter schools.
2. What are your recommendations for funding public education, including securing the necessary revenue to sustain the improvements made by House Bill 3 in 2019? Do you believe additional funding is needed?
I believe additional funding is needed for our public schools. My recommendations for funding public education include: 1) impose an excise tax on e-cigarettes and raise the tax on alcohol; 2) increase the motor fuels tax which hasn't been increased since 1991; 3) implement sales tax on services as our economy has moved away from manufacturing to services; 4) consider appropriating a larger portion of the Permanent School Fund to the Available School Fund; and 5) eliminate sales tax emptions on airplanes and motorboats and other luxury items.
3. How would you address the challenge of rising healthcare costs facing Texas educators and ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?
I believe we need a cap on the amount health care insurance is allowed to increase annually. When rates continue to escalate annually as they have been, employers shift more of the cost onto employees, creating a net decrease in salaries. To begin with, creating a cap of 2% for premium increases would help. I also support expanding Medicaid which will help the system overall, and could lead to lower costs across the board once our uninsured population is not using emergency resources for primary care.
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?
Yes, I believe the TRS should be maintained as a traditional defined benefit pension 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.?
Standardized testing should be used as a benchmark. Testing allows teachers to assess where students are and to identify strengths and weaknesses. I do not believe standardized test scores should be used for grading schools or teachers. More time should be spent on projects and promoting critical thinking skills than on teaching students how to take standardized tests.
6. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?
I do not believe student performance should determine teacher pay considering teachers can't select their students. Students who are disadvantaged need excellent teachers who can help them advance. If teacher pay is determined by student performance, teachers won't want to teach in schools or classrooms where students are facing more challenges.
7. 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 do not support sending tax dollars to private schools nor to families who choose to home school.
8. 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 allowing public employees to join professional associations and having their dues deducted from their paychecks.
9. What role, if any, should charter schools have in the public education system, and do you feel the number of charter schools operating in Texas should be reduced or expanded?
I believe the initial idea behind charter schools, setting up small schools where innovative ideas can be tested and then shared when successful, is worthy. I am not in favor of having a dual system of public schools, with unequal funding and regulations, which is what we have now. I am in favor of reducing the number of charter schools, and at a minimum, stopping the growth of charter schools.
10. Recent legislation has made it possible for school districts to exempt themselves from many state laws (e.g., class-size limits, requirements for hiring certified teachers, minimum salary schedules, school calendar restrictions, etc.) by partnering with outside entities, allowing campuses to be managed by a charter school operator, or becoming part of a District of Innovation, for example. Do you agree with this type of deregulation of public schools, and how should such non-traditional schools be governed?
If one district feels the need for an exemption from specific rules and regulations, there is likely a good reason for that exemption. Other districts are likely facing the same challenges and needs, so I would prefer that we examine the rules and modify them for all districts rather than creating a patchwork system full of exemptions.
No additional comments
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A NONPARTISAN VOTER EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS