Strengthen Public Education System

Texas has some of the best colleges and universities in the United States, but our public-school system needs improvements. When teachers are paying out of their own pocket for supplies, we have a problem. Education is the great equalizer and is the public institution that provides our nation’s youth with the tools they need to be self-sufficient and productive members of our society. Join me in fighting for a just and fair educational system we can be proud of.

Teachers are responsible for the future of our society. Their salaries and compensation should reflect the valuable work they do. Texas needs to increase the minimum salaries for all levels of experience, and especially for first year teachers. Currently, the Texas State Minimum Salary Schedule for first year teachers is only $28,000. To attract the best and brightest minds to become teachers we must show them how valuable we claim they are through their compensation! Recently, legislation was introduced in Texas to transfer teachers’ retirement plans from the TRS (Teacher’s Retirement System) to something like an individualized 401k programs. With the current TRS, teachers know what year they can retire, their retirements are protected, and no third party makes any money from it. By moving the retirement accounts to a 401k system, teachers will have the rug pulled from underneath them, and the retirement program they have been investing in their whole career will disappear as the funds dwindle down to nothing.

Early childhood education should be a priority for our state. Our children’s most formative years are also their youngest years. Their social, emotional, and physical development has a direct impact on the person they become in the future. We must not leave their future, and our future, to chance. Currently only students 4 years or older qualify for pre-school. We must extend public pre-school for all children and lower the age requirement to 2 years old. This will increase access to formative education for at-risk students and allow parents valuable access to child care. Knowing that their children are taken care of in a safe and beneficial environment, parents will be able to better re-enter the workforce and provide for their families.

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