Education should be a top priority. Our students deserve a world-class education. This costs money and those costs will likely increase every year. I will take a long view of education and view its funding as an investment rather than an expenditure. If we continue to invest, ALL Texans will benefit; not just a few.
People working in the education system deserve decent salaries. They deserve proper treatment in retirement.
Current Republican leadership has failed on every level. Budget support for public education has dwindled. The state used to support about 50% of statewide education expenses. Now that figure is only 38%. If you include the share diverted to Charter schools, that figure shrinks to 31%.
I reject the view the assembly line view of public education. It should be more than a conveyor belt moving the next generation from school to work. Of course we want our education system to prepare students for adult careers. Yet that should not mean neglecting what makes life worth living. Art, music, and other creative endeavors must be part of a student’s experience also.
I reject the privatization of public education. Voucher programs that shift funding from public to private schools will find no ally in me. I welcome new approaches to education that will help students. Creating parallel education systems with public money is not the answer. Public funds should go for public schools.
I support a hard cap on the number of students per class. “Flexibility” is usually used as a code word for increasing class sizes generally. This is a bad idea and injures the education process.
Our students are over-tested. Reliance on testing to determine the quality of students’ educational experience has failed. Evaluating skilled professionals like teachers holistically makes the most sense. Teachers know what works and they know what doesn’t work. We should abandon the adversarial relationship between the state and our teaching community. Together we can discover the appropriate and effective measures of teacher effectiveness.