State of Texas Archives: on Education


Ronny Jackson: K-12 education should have local and state control

I am in favor of reforming our education system.˙The primary education of our children should be a local and state issue.˙ The federal government should not be able to mandate and promote the liberal agenda of other parts of the country on our schools in the state of Texas and the 13th˙Congressional District.˙
Source: 2020 TX-13 House campaign website RonnyJacksonForTexas13.com Jul 27, 2020

MJ Hegar: Government should not profit off of student loan interest

Hegar said that student loans should be reevaluated so that the government "is not profiting off of student loan interest," and more options to pay back student loans, such as community service, can be given to students.
Source: The Texan on 2020 Texas Senate race Jun 8, 2020

MJ Hegar: Investment in public school is investment in nation's future

Every child, regardless of where they come from or how much money their family makes, should have access to an affordable and quality education. I will advocate for Texas public schools and teachers, because I believe an investment in strong public schools is an investment in our nation's future. Teachers, educators, and school staff deserve to be treated with respect and to be paid salaries worthy of the critical service they provide to society.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website MJforTexas.com Jan 20, 2020

MJ Hegar: Lower interest rates on student debt, ensure affordability

Far too many Texans struggle from crippling student loan debt. We must put an end to the government profiting off loans by lowering interest rates on student debt, while also ensuring all higher education is more affordable for current and future students. Every student loan should have a grace period of at least several months during which the loan does not accrue interest.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website MJforTexas.com Jan 20, 2020

Sema Hernandez: Opposes government funding of charter schools

Traditional public schools are the best and fairest means of providing all children with equal and equitable education. I oppose government funding of charter schools. I will introduce or support federal legislation to increase funding for all public schools, but especially for poverty-stricken communities which lack textbooks and basic infrastructure.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Sema Hernandez: Trade schools & public colleges should be tuition-free

Higher education is an essential component of any civilized and productive society. The right to pursue higher education should be available to all without burdensome student debt. We must pass legislation that makes trade schools, public colleges, and universities tuition-free. Ensuring training and education to everyone is the best way to strengthen our economy and combat systemic poverty. Education and training should be a priority in our national budget.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Make Universal Childcare and Pre-K a guaranteed right

Currently, the average Texas family pays $9,324 a year just for childcare for an infant child. On average, that's $777 per month. With universal childcare and Pre-K as a guaranteed right, Texans won't have to choose between work and family, and every child will have better education and care.

Fully funding our education system and tackling the crisis of student debt is just basic common sense and sound economic policy. It means we invest in our greatest asset: our people. Cristina will make sure our kids go to great schools with great teachers by fully funding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which currently does not adequately meet the needs of our students and ensuring that teachers are compensated and trained like the professionals they are.

Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Cancel student debt; make public universities tuition free

Cristina supports canceling student debt for millions of Americans that are struggling to pay back their loans. Cristina also supports efforts to make public universities and community college tuition-free. We'll continue building the strongest economy in the world by investing appropriately in education.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Offer debt relief & free tuition for low income students

Tuition is too high and student loan interest rates make it nearly impossible to even pay off your debt. We must offer debt relief programs for the millions of Texans who are unable to invest in buying a home or vehicle due to the burden of their debt. We need to invest in Community Colleges, offering free tuition for low income students. The path from a Community College into a 4-year institution is complicated and uneven, and it is imperative to make that pathway easier to navigate.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Investing in public schools a top priority

Investing in K-12 education is one of my top priorities. One of the things we did was make sure funding followed our low-income students. Money would be given to schools based on the number of low-income students in attendance. We also passed a statewide pay increase for teachers to ease the burden they face. Teacher's shouldn't worry about paying for their own school supplies out of pocket.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Free community college, not sure about student debt

Q: What about student debt?

A: One of the things I will be doing is working on figuring out how students can at least get a community college degree without having to pay for it.

Q: Do you support calls to completely eliminate student debt for everyone and make college free for all?

A: If we can do it in a realistic manner, and tie that into the other priorities we have like health care. The question becomes if you only have a finite amount of money, then which one do you prioritize?

Source: The Dallas Morning News on 2020 Texas Senate race Jul 28, 2019

Greg Abbott: Increase teacher pay, with best earning six figures

We must target education funding to help our students achieve in school. That starts with teachers in the classroom. Texas must recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers to educate our students. This session, we must pay our teachers more. We must provide incentives to put effective teachers in the schools and classrooms where they are needed the most. And we must create a pathway for the best teachers to earn a six-figure salary.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Texas legislature Feb 5, 2019

Greg Abbott: Focus on mental health for safer schools

Texas must act now to make our schools safer. After the horrific shooting at Santa Fe High School, I held roundtables with parents, students, educators, law enforcement, and mental health experts. One solution everyone agreed on was the need to address mental health in our schools.

Programs like the telemedicine wellness project at Texas Tech. It partners with school districts in West Texas to identify and remove students who pose a potential threat. And it provides students the help they need.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Texas legislature Feb 5, 2019

Beto O`Rourke: Vouchers funnel public school $ into private schools

Q: Help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

Ted Cruz (R): Yes. Called "civil rights issue of our time." Introduced bill to allow tax deduction for costs of private & religious schools.

Beto O'Rourke (D): No. It funnels public school $ into private schools. "Ted Cruz's private school give-away will cost taxpayers $500 million to subsidize wealthy."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Lupe Valdez: The right education starts with fixing school finance system

The Texas we pass on to the next generation all come back to how we prepare our people to address challenges ahead. This means expanding access to everything from early childhood education to college readiness programs, to vocational training aimed at producing a skilled workforce. First, we must fix our broken school finance system. It is past time for the state to pay its fair share and stop placing the burden on local communities and homeowners, which has caused property taxes to skyrocket.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website LupeValdez.com Oct 9, 2018

Ted Cruz: Private school vouchers is civil rights issue of our time

Q: Help parents send their children to private schools with public money?

Ted Cruz (R): Yes. Called "civil rights issue of our time." Introduced bill to allow tax deduction for costs of private & religious schools.

Beto O'Rourke (D): No. It funnels public school $ into private schools. "Ted Cruz's private school give-away will cost taxpayers $500 million to subsidize wealthy."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Andrew White: Close $5 billion property tax loophole to aid schools

Our kids are getting the 43rd ranked education in the country. Not acceptable. Today, we pay for our schools using an algorithm that no one understands. Let's simplify it. I'll ask a civic leader to lead a panel to research and determine the best path forward.˙Where does the money come from?˙I'll pay for it by closing a $5 billion property tax loophole that mainly benefits out-of-state commercial property owners.˙
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website AndrewWhite.com Feb 22, 2018

Sylvia Garcia: Oppose vouchers for students to leave public schools

The programs proposed in Senate Bill 3 would offer money to public school students to leave the system for private schools or homeschooling. Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who voted for the measure, argued that would help school districts, especially those growing so quickly that they are having trouble funding the additional enrollment. "There actually will be more money per child in the public education system in Texas," he said.

Legislative Summary: CSSB 3, Relating to the establishment of an education savings account program and a tax credit scholarship and educational expense assistance program.

Legislative Outcome: The motion prevailed by the

Source: Texas Tribune on legislative voting record CSSB3 Mar 23, 2017

Van Taylor: Vouchers decrease growth and help public schools in long run

The programs proposed in Senate Bill 3 would offer money to public school students to leave the system for private schools or homeschooling. Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, who voted for the measure, argued that would help school districts, especially those growing so quickly that they are having trouble funding the additional enrollment. "There actually will be more money per child in the public education system in Texas," he said.

Legislative Summary: CSSB 3, Relating to the establishment of an education savings account program and a tax credit scholarship and educational expense assistance program.

Legislative Outcome: The motion prevailed by the

Source: Texas Tribune: 2018 Congress TX-3 election voting record SB3 Mar 23, 2017

Greg Abbott: Fully fund GURI: Governor's University Research Initiative

While so many colleges are competing for 5-Star recruits to athletic programs, Texas is leading the way to attract 5-Star recruits to our academic programs. The Governor's University Research Initiative you funded last session brought internationally renowned researchers to Texas.

As one example, Dr. Richard Miles--a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering--is leaving Princeton to join the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M. His work places Texas A&M and the State of Texas at the forefront of laser and optical technology that can enhance national security. Research like this spurs economic development and helps create jobs.

We must continue our mission to do more than just prepare Texas for the next two years. We also need to put our state on the path for national and international prominence for the next 20 years. GURI does just that. And must be fully funded again.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Texas Legislature Jan 31, 2017

Vicente Gonzalez: Fight for pre-kindergarten and Head Start

Education is our society's greatest equalizer. I will fight for the education our children need to get ahead.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website VicenteGonzalez.com Nov 8, 2016

Greg Abbott: Require evaluation of schools with A-F grades

House Bill 2804 revises the evaluation of public school performance, based on five domains of indicators. The bill requires the commissioner of education to assign each public school district and campus an overall A-F performance.

When the measure originally passed the House, both Democrats and Republicans rose to oppose the change. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, said moving to the letter grades would be a "horrendous mistake. That places more of a stigma on kids who are trying to rise above their circumstances," he said.

In a particularly fiery speech, state Rep. Larry Phillips (R) urged his colleagues to "stand up for sanity in schools" & vote for his amendment to strip the A-through-F ratings from the bill. "You think just because you rate someone A through F they are going to do a better job? No," Phillips said.

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 30-1-0 on May/29/15; passed House 119-17-2 on May/31/15; signed by Governor Greg Abbott Jun/19/15.

Source: Texas Tribune on Texas legislative voting records: HB2804 Jun 19, 2015

Royce West: Oppose evaluation of schools with A-F grades

House Bill 2804 revises the evaluation of public school performance, based on five domains of indicators. The bill requires the commissioner of education to assign each public school district and campus an overall A-F performance.

When the measure originally passed the House, both Democrats and Republicans rose to oppose the change. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, said moving to the letter grades would be a "horrendous mistake. That places more of a stigma on kids who are trying to rise above their circumstances," he said.

In a particularly fiery speech, state Rep. Larry Phillips (R) urged his colleagues to "stand up for sanity in schools" & vote for his amendment to strip the A-through-F ratings from the bill. "You think just because you rate someone A through F they are going to do a better job? No," Phillips said.

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 30-1-0 on May/29/15; Sen. West voted NO; passed House 119-17-2 on May/31/15; signed by Governor Greg Abbott Jun/19/15.

Source: Texas Tribune on Texas legislative voting records: HB2804 May 29, 2015

Sylvia Garcia: Require evaluation of schools with A-F grades

House Bill 2804 revises the evaluation of public school performance, based on five domains of indicators. The bill requires the commissioner of education to assign each public school district and campus an overall A-F performance.

When the measure originally passed the House, both Democrats and Republicans rose to oppose the change. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, said moving to the letter grades would be a "horrendous mistake. That places more of a stigma on kids who are trying to rise above their circumstances," he said.

In a particularly fiery speech, state Rep. Larry Phillips (R) urged his colleagues to "stand up for sanity in schools" & vote for his amendment to strip the A-through-F ratings from the bill. "You think just because you rate someone A through F they are going to do a better job? No," Phillips said.

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 30-1-0 on May/29/15; Sen. Garcia voted YES; passed House 119-17-2 on May/31/15; signed by Governor Greg Abbott Jun/19/15.

Source: Texas Tribune on Texas legislative voting records: HB2804 May 29, 2015

Van Taylor: Require evaluation of schools with A-F grades

House Bill 2804 revises the evaluation of public school performance, based on five domains of indicators. The bill requires the commissioner of education to assign each public school district and campus an overall A-F performance.

When the measure originally passed the House, both Democrats and Republicans rose to oppose the change. State Rep. Sylvester Turner, said moving to the letter grades would be a "horrendous mistake. That places more of a stigma on kids who are trying to rise above their circumstances," he said.

In a particularly fiery speech, state Rep. Larry Phillips (R) urged his colleagues to "stand up for sanity in schools" & vote for his amendment to strip the A-through-F ratings from the bill. "You think just because you rate someone A through F they are going to do a better job? No," Phillips said.

Legislative outcome: Passed Senate 30-1-0 on May/29/15; Sen. Taylor voted YES; passed House 119-17-2 on May/31/15; signed by Governor Greg Abbott Jun/19/15.

Source: Texas Tribune on Texas legislative voting records: HB2804 May 29, 2015

Greg Abbott: Additional funding for schools to adopt high-quality Pre-K

[Since the 1980s], the State of Texas has been mired in litigation about school funding. I think we can all agree it's time to put school finance litigation behind us. It's time to stop fighting about school finance and start fixing our schools. To improve our schools we must begin by building a strong foundation at the very beginning. Our goal should be to ensure all Texas students are performing at grade level in reading and math by the time they finish the 3rd grade.

To begin that process, my budget provides additional funding for schools that adopt high-quality Pre-K programs. My plan also provides Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers with world-class literacy and math teacher training.

To begin the process of building a better education system in Texas, we must improve early education. This is why I'm declaring early education as my first emergency item as governor. Our children and their future have no time for delay.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Greg Abbott: Ensure having the best teachers by saying NO to Common Core

An essential ingredient to better schools is ensuring we have the best teachers in our classrooms. In part, that means saying no to common core. We can bring out the best in all of our teachers by getting rid of the one-size-fits-all mandates and trusting our teachers to truly educate our students. My budget invests in more STEM teachers and in teachers who serve our most disadvantaged students.

We must also return genuine local control to our schools. This book contains all the education-related laws in Texas. It's absurd to micromanage educators with all of these laws. Let's cut it down to size by allowing school districts to opt out of parts of the education code so they can design an education plan that best fits their community needs.

Local control, however, doesn't end at the school district level. Real local control rests with parents. The ultimate parental involvement is giving parents more choices in their child's education.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Emily Sanchez: Supports parents choosing schools via vouchers

Q: Do you support or oppose parents choosing schools via vouchers?

A: Support.

Q: Do you also support charter schools? and homeschooling?

A: Absolutely. I myself would prefer home schooling for my children, but as a single mother that is an impossibility.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 21, 2014

David Alameel: Quality education for ALL children, not just privileged few

As a father, David Alameel believes that the best investment we can make is in a quality education for ALL children, not just the privileged few. That is why he has been part of numerous non-profits that provide scholarships to young Texans who work hard in school. As a Senator, David Alameel will continue to fight for education funding to make sure that our children get the world class education they deserve in order to compete in the increasingly global economy.
Source: 2014 Texas Senate campaign website May 15, 2014

Elizabeth Ames Jones: Advocate of parental choice in education

As an advocate of parental choice in education, including charter schools and home schooling, I recognize the choice of parents in the education of their children. I believe that home schooling and charter schools are an integral components of that choice.

Simply put, education is one of the most important investments we can make in the future of Texas. Investing in Texas' universities will have an enormous impact on the Texas economy, quality of worker produced, and the job market the graduates are going into. Texas leaves $3.7 billion on the table annually in federal research dollars and venture capital because our existing Tier One institutions don't have the sufficient capacity. It is in Texas' best interests of have the very best universities for all of our children to attend.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, jonesfortexas.com, "Issues" May 1, 2012

David Dewhurst: Protect student's right to pray and reflect in schools

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has worked with countless volunteers and activists across Texas in passing legislation that keeps our children safe and strengthens Texas families. A committed father and husband, Dewhurst will continue to fight for pro-family legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Apr 1, 2012

Julian Castro: Take "Race to the Top" Funds despite governor's refusal

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro rejected Gov. Rick Perry's rationale for refusing to apply for Race to the Top education grants, which could have been worth $700 million to the state's schools. "I would have taken the Race to the Top money if I was mayor dogcatcher, or whatever," Castro said. He shrugged off the notion that the potential windfall came with too many strings attached because, he said, "all federal money comes with strings attached."

Castro's advice to cities and communities that want federal funding but, due to friction between the state and the federal government, might find it hard to come by it was to cut out the middle man. "You need to make a direct pitch to the administration," he said.

Of course, another option is to change the middle man. The San Antonio mayoralty may be non-partisan, but Castro is a Democrat--and he thinks his party might have a shot in at least one statewide race this year: "With Gov. Perry," said Castro, "that's a race that will be very close."

Source: Reeve Hamilton in Texas Tribune, "Race to the Top" Feb 17, 2010

Rick Perry: No "Race to the Top" funding; too many strings attached

Perry today announced that Texas will not submit an application for federal Race to the Top education funds. Despite tremendous education successes, Texas' application would be penalized by the US Department of Education for refusing to commit to adopt national curriculum standards and tests.

"Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children's future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents' participation in their children's education," Gov. Perry said. "If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached."

Through Race to the Top funding, the US Department of Education seems to be coercing states like Texas to abandon their own locally established curriculum standards in favor of adopting national standards.

Source: 2010 Texas Gubernatorial press release Jan 13, 2010

Rick Noriega: Scrap “No Child Left Behind”

Q: Do you favor scrapping “No Child Left Behind?”

A: Yes. Bush left the education community of Texas in a shambles of testing & failed accountability schemes; now we see his Administration doing the same to the nation’s schools. The best accountability is providing the federal funds to ensure quality teachers and staff and adequate materials, books and technology. Local school districts in Texas must be unfettered from the pressures of teaching the test and only worrying about arbitrary test scores.

Source: Democracy for Texas Questionnaire Response Mar 1, 2008

Joaquin Castro: More funds for schools, teachers, and college

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

George W. Bush: Teach values and moral responsibility in schools

Our children must also be educated in the values of our civil society. Some people think it’s inappropriate to make moral judgments anymore. Not me. We must be willing to draw a clear line between right and wrong. Those clear lines must be supported by political leaders, public schools and our public institutions. Educating our children about their moral and civil responsibilities will serve them-and the nation-every bit as well as the academic learning they require.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

George W. Bush: No-nonsense basic curriculum focusing on results

Our legacy must be to have the best public education system in the world. Our system must be based on high expectations and high standards for every child. It must be a system that focuses on no-nonsense, basic curriculum; a system that aligns authority and responsibility at the local level, a system that is flexible and encourages educational entrepreneurship. A system that focuses on results, not process. And a system that first and foremost teaches all our children to read.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

George W. Bush: Set clear goals, use early tests

We set clear goals: excellence in a core curriculum of reading, math, science, and social studies. We developed a diagnostic tool to help kindergarten through second grade teachers detect and correct reading problems early. We created a rigorous core curriculum that is knowledge-based, back-to-basics, and phonics-driven. A child who does not pass the reading portion of the TAAS test in the 3rd grade must receive appropriate intervention & instruction before moving to regular classes in the 4th grade.
Source: Texas Educators Conf., Austin TX Jan 27, 1998

Brian Babin: Amendment for moment of silence in schools

Q: Do you support amending the United States Constitution to allow voluntary prayer and/or moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support funding the National Service Program (Ameri-Corps) in which young people receive money from the federal government for college in return for performing community service

A: No.

Babin adds, "Americans still believe in the principles that made our country great: principles like right and wrong, personal responsibility, the strength of the family and faith in our Creator, but those principles are no longer reflected in our federal government. Washington has gotten off track because it has strayed from those values."

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

Brian Babin: Vouchers for public, private or religious schools

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Education.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021