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Ben Bumgarner
Texas House District 63
Status

Candidate

Party

Republican

Occupation

Self Employed

Address

5150 Kensington Court, Flower Mound, TX, 75022

Additional Information

Bumgarner won a May 24 runoff in the 2022 Republican primary for Texas House District 63. 


Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

1. If elected, what will be your top priorities for public education?


Ending recapture. Finding a way to fund mandates that our districts were left holding the bag for in the past. Making sure our educators are properly taken care of.

2. What are your recommendations for funding public education, including securing the necessary revenue to sustain the improvements made by House Bill 3 in 2019? Do you believe additional funding is needed?

We have the 9th largest economy in the world. We should have no problem funding public education. The Texas constitution says that we will provide a free education to the masses. Additional funding is definitely going to be needed if we expect our educators to go to specialized training courses. We can spread the cost amongst several categories and not just leave it on the backs of our property owners.

3. How would you address the challenge of rising health care costs facing Texas educators and ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable health care?

Rising healthcare costs are affecting everyone in all industry. The industry was fine until the federal government got involved. I believe that the market should be free and that it’ll regulate itself and lower costs will come from true competition in the market.

4. Do you believe the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) should be maintained as a traditional defined benefit pension plan for all future, current, and retired educators, or do you support converting TRS to a defined contribution plan that is more like a 401(k) plan, in which future benefits are not guaranteed?

I need to research more on this issue. I don’t want to do anything to harm our public educators as they spend their lives educating our future leaders and sacrifice much. Whatever we need to do to keep good educators in place then that’s what I am for.

5. What do you feel is the proper role of standardized testing in the Texas public education system? For instance, should student test scores be used for teacher pay, school accountability ratings, evaluating teachers, measuring student progress, etc.?

Student tests scores should Definitely be matrixed into an accountability rating. It’s the only way taxpayers can see how well their tax dollars are being spent and also see the ROI on public education. Evaluating teachers? Maybe, But not as the end all be all. Teachers pay? No. Measuring students progress: to an extent, again not the end all be All. The testing is getting too intense and we are losing sight of the entire reason we test to begin with. To Measure and gauge our children’s learning curve. Sure, there will be bad test takers, but there are also kids that won’t be going to college. That’s okay! It’s the schools jobs to make sure our children are getting a basic understanding of the material they are learning to get them through life.

6. Would you vote to create any type of voucher, tax credit, scholarship, education savings account, or other program aimed at paying for students, including any subpopulation of students, to attend non-public K-12 schools, such as private or home schools?

Probably not. The more I research the issue the more I realize that these are funds taken away from our public schools.

7. State law allows educators and other public employees to voluntarily choose to join professional associations such as ATPE and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks at no cost to taxpayers. Do you support or oppose letting all public employees continue to exercise this right?

If people are consenting to this and aren’t being told to do so then I don’t see a problem with it. However people want to spend or donate their money is for them to decide. Not me.

8. What role, if any, should charter schools have in the public education system, and do you feel the number of charter schools operating in Texas should be reduced or expanded?

Charter Schools should be classified in the same box as private schools. They don’t follow the same guidelines as public schools. They don’t have the same curriculum and do not get held to the same standard. They are not all inclusive. They are private.

9. How much freedom should school districts have to make decisions during disease outbreaks, such as requiring face coverings and immunizations or transitioning to remote instruction?

Every district is different. This is a very large state. What’s happening in Houston may not be happening in Dallas. Districts should make decisions for the mass safety of the children and schools. However- I am not in favor of requiring a flu shot to go to school. As a parent I was not a fan of remote learning. I believe our kids lost valuable social skills this last year.

10. What do you believe is the proper role of virtual education within the public education system? Do you believe full-time virtual education should be expanded, and if so, under what circumstances?

I might be in the minority, but I think virtual education should be saved for upperclassmen. Middle school and elementary school children need to interact. They need to learn social skills. Older children have more independence and can do these things on their own, but not your younger kids. Younger kids do not have the stamina or the independent motivation to stay focused on their own.

11. What do you feel should be the state’s role (versus the role of school districts or individual educators) in decisions about public school curriculum and instructional materials?

I believe our educators should have first and last say on the curriculum. I’m a firm believer that we should keep red and blue out of our schools. As a stakeholder and property tax payer I believe in testing to see that our kids are being taught to standard and are college ready. There are big fights about questionable materials in our schools libraries. They shouldn’t be there. I believe our constituents should be allowed to protest pornographic literature and lawmakers should be able to overrule these materials when appropriate.

12. The COVID-19 pandemic and additional instructional support needed to remediate students’ learning losses have placed additional strain on public schools’ staffing needs. How would you work to ensure classrooms are appropriately staffed, teachers’ workloads are manageable, and planning time is not sacrificed amid these challenges?

That’s a tough question. I believe that this question is going to have to be answered at the district level. Obviously, making sure unfunded mandates are taken care of is a start. Making sure teachers are given resources, tools and materials to do their best jobs helps as well.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


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