Education is the most important investment our community can make.
From pre-K through university, our public schools need a vocal advocate in Austin.
And our regional economy needs a strong and educated workforce.
The future of East Texas depends on us getting this right.
Our current representative and his West Texas funders
are focused on gutting public school funding.
I will work to empower teachers and administrations to use their local expertise to make the best choices for our students.
Not only are we morally responsible for the education of our children, we must also recognize the economic benefits that our public schools bring to our community. When a business is looking to relocate to East Texas, one of the first questions they ask is, "how are your public schools?” We have many reasons to celebrate our schools, and I will be proud to champion our education community.
As a member of the Tyler Area Partnership for Education leadership team, I know that great public education and regional economic growth are intertwined. Our East Texas public schools and universities are a major economic driver and they are producing the next generation of workers for our community. I will be their advocate in Austin.
I will work to restore fiscally prudent funding to our public school in Austin. Our current legislature continues to slash funding for public education, and the result is increased local property tax burdens. Texas adds 80,000 students per year to our public schools - which is equivalent to a new Fort Worth ISD each year - and yet our legislature continues to under-fund our schools. In the last 30 years, the state has cut public school funding by 60%. Local leaders are having to make up for the lack of leadership on the State level. So where do our communities make up the shortfall? Property tax hikes. A more fiscally prudent approach is to restore a balance to our school funding.
Our legislature has allowed our Texas schools to rank #37 in the nation. Texas has the resources, the expertise, the drive, and the spirit to be a national leader in educational investment. But it starts with good leadership. The future of our state depends on us getting this right.