Guiding Principles for Pro-Public Education Legislators and Candidates
1. I Speak for Children
I will ably represent and speak for children, looking out for the interests of all Texas boys and girls as if they were my own. I fully understand that children do not grow, mature, or learn at the same rate, and state law should reflect an understanding of the differences among children.
2. I Vote My District on Public Education While Looking Out for the Common Good
I will “vote my district” on public education policy issues, while at the same time I will look out for the common good of all Texas children and taxpayers. I will respectfully listen to parents, elected school trustees, and educators who are most knowledgeable about financial and academic issues in my district’s public schools.
3. Local Control of Public Education and Respect for Public School Parents
I will protect local control of public education. Most decisions about independent school districts should be left to locally elected trustees, parents, taxpayers, and educators who have the best understanding of student needs, proven practices, and how to spend resources to get optimal results.
4. Academic Accountability and Financial Accountability in Public Education
I will support academic and financial accountability systems that allow parents, taxpayers, and the Texas Education Agency to monitor student success and expenditures of public money. Accountability requirements should be understandable to parents, workable, fair to students and schools, and helpful in improving achievement.
5. Sufficient and Equitable Funding To Meet State and Federal Mandates
I will support providing sufficient and equitable state funding for public education so that accountability mandates can be met and all students can complete the recommended high school program and graduate from high school.
6. Quality Teachers and Educators for Our Children
I will work to provide public schools with the resources necessary to recruit and retain highly qualified educators for every classroom and every school. I will avoid legislative actions that could prompt experienced educators to leave the profession. Our children were ably served by valued educators who are now retired, and I will carefully consider any proposed pension and health care legislation that affects them.
7. Public Money for Public Schools
I will ensure that local and state taxes collected to fund preK-12th grade education are used only to fund Texas public schools. I will oppose any proposals to divert state and local school funding through tax credits, tax exemptions or taxpayer financing of private school vouchers and vouchers-in-disguise schemes.
8. Enhanced Transparency and Oversight of Charter Schools
I will ensure that all schools, public and charter, will be held to the same standards of accountability in all matters including academics, fiscal responsibility, and transparency. I will also carefully scrutinize any proposals seeking to expand the costly and duplicative charter school system.
9. Protect the Right of Public Education Supporters to Advocate at the Texas Capitol
I will protect the right of public school districts to make a local decision on the need to retain paid advocates. Schoolchildren, parents, educators, and trustees deserve to be represented in Austin by experts in the complex legislative process if needed.