Article 7 of the Texas Constitution addresses public education:
“SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
The youngest of my five children graduated from high school this spring. I have been involved in PTAs and with AISD since 1998. In recent years, the growth in the recapture payment for AISD has become unsustainable, going from $400M in 2017 to $530M in 2018, while the state share of public school finance has gone from about 50% to just 38%. The state is ducking its responsibility and is dumping excess costs on local school districts and property tax payers.
When elected to office, I will honor our constitution and multiple court rulings, as well as the students and teachers. I promise to:
- Ensure the investment we make into public education serves all our children and provides a reasonable salary for our teachers.
- Keep public dollars in public schools, and not send those dollars into private or parochial schools through vouchers or education savings accounts.
- Fix the school finance formula to include both a cost-of-living and an inflation index.
- Ensure the state provides a minimum of 50% of the school funding so local school districts are not forced to increase local property taxes to make up the difference.
- Respect the value and expertise of our teachers by funding reasonable class sizes, paying competitive salaries, and providing professional development opportunities.
- End high-pressure, high-stakes tests for students, as well as the school grading system criticized by professional educators.
- Include enrichment activities in the curriculum to develop a child’s full potential.
- Support adequate funding to our public institutions of higher education.
My opponent Rep. Paul Workman, into his fourth term in office, supports vouchers and has done nothing to address the inadequate school finance system.