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Beverly Powell*
Texas Senate District 10
Status

Incumbent - not seeking reelection

Party

Democrat

Occupation

Real Estate Developer

Address

440 S Main Street, Fort Worth, TX, 76104

Additional Information

First elected to the Texas Senate in 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2023. 

*Powell is not seeking reelection in 2022.

Powell was a panelist during ATPE at the Virtual Capitol in 2021.

In the 2018 election, Powell was recommended favorably by Texans for Public Education, a grassroots educators' group that researched and rated candidates in the 2018 election based on their stances toward public schools.

She was endorsed by the editorial boards of The Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the Nov. 2018 general election. 

Powell was also endorsed in the 2018 general election by Texas Parent PAC, a pro-public education organization that advocates for adequate and equitable funding of public schools, local control, teacher quality, and the prevention of private school vouchers.


Related Blog Posts

  • Senate Vote #1 - 2021: SPECIAL EDUCATION VOUCHERS

    Voted against a bill that would have created a special education voucher program, allowing parents to use public funds to privately purchase educational services. ATPE opposed this version of the bill.

    Senate Bill 1716 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The bill as filed would have created a special education voucher program, which ATPE opposed. The Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading, May 4, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.) The House later removed the voucher language from another version of SB 1716 that passed and was signed into law without objection from ATPE.

  • Senate Vote #2 - 2021: COMPENSATION

    Voted for an amendment that would have ensured teachers could keep pay raises they had received as a result of 2019 school finance legislation. ATPE supported the amendment.

    Senate Floor Amendment #14 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) to House Bill 1525 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 26, 2021, the Senate rejected the ATPE-supported amendment during its floor debate on a school finance clean-up bill. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.)

  • Senate Vote #3 - 2021: CIVICS AND CURRICULUM

    Voted against a bill that mandated changes to social studies curriculum standards, sought to ban the teaching of concepts that have been associated with "critical race theory," limited students' access to course credit for activities related to legislation, and restricted educators' discussions of controversial topics and current events in the classroom. ATPE opposed the bill.

    House Bill 3979 by Rep. Steve Toth, sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) and Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 22, 2021, the Senate voted to pass the ATPE-opposed bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.) Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #4 - 2021: CIVICS AND CURRICULUM

    Voted against a bill passed during the second special session that replaced HB 3979 passed during the regular session. The bill requires the State Board of Education to change social studies curriculum standards and seeks to ban the teaching of concepts that have been associated with "critical race theory." SB 3 mandates a civics training academy for certain teachers and requires that teachers address controversial topics in an objective manner free from political bias. ATPE opposed the bill overall but supported House floor amendments that made the bill better than its predecessor, HB 3979.

    Senate Bill 3 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), 87th Legislature, Second Called Session. The bill expanded upon and replaced HB 3979 that was passed during the regular session. The Senate voted Sept. 2, 2021, to concur in House amendments to the bill, thereby sending SB 3 to the governor for signature. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal). Read more about SB 3 here.

  • Senate Vote #5 - 2021: HOME-SCHOOL UIL

    Voted against a bill that allows home-schooled students to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) activities on behalf of and at the expense of a school district without meeting the same academic requirements under "no pass, no play" rules that apply to public school students. ATPE opposed the bill.

    House Bill 547 by Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Angela Paxton (R-McKinney), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The Senate  amended the bill, removing House provisions that would have given coaches additional authority to verify home-schooled students' academic eligibility and allowed students served by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to participate in UIL. The Senate passed the ATPE-opposed bill on third reading, May 22, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.) Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #6 - 2021: CHARTER SCHOOLS

    Voted against a bill that expands property tax exemptions for charter schools and those who lease property to a charter school. ATPE opposed the bill.

    House Bill 3610 by Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The Senate passed the ATPE-opposed bill on third reading, May 22, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal). Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #7 - 2021: CHARTER SCHOOLS

    Voted against a bill that would have weakened voter oversight of charter schools by making it harder for the elected State Board of Education to veto new charter applications and reducing local voters' input regarding where charter schools are allowed to locate. ATPE opposed the bill.

    Senate Bill 28 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The Senate passed the ATPE-opposed bill on third reading, April 15, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal). SB 28 ultimately failed to pass the full Legislature. Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #8 - 2021: RETIREMENT

    Voted for a bill authorizing a one-time supplemental payment or "13th check" of up to $2,400 to TRS retirees. ATPE supported the bill.

    Senate Bill 7 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), 87th Legislature, Second Called Session. On Aug. 9, 2021, the Senate voted to approve the ATPE-supported bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.)

  • Senate Vote #9 - 2021: VIRTUAL SCHOOLS

    Voted for a bill that would have expanded full-time virtual school programs statewide. ATPE opposed the bill.

    House Bill 1468 by Rep. Keith Bell (R-Forney), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. After the House and Senate passed different versions of the ATPE-opposed bill, HB 1468 was sent to a conference committee to generate a compromise version. On May 30, 2021, the Senate voted to pass the bill by adopting its conference committee report. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.) HB 1468 ultimately died when the House failed to vote on the conference committee report before the regular session ended.

  • Senate Vote #10 - 2021: VIRTUAL SCHOOLS

    Voted for a bill that expands funding and authorization for full-time virtual school programs statewide. ATPE opposed the bill.

    Senate Bill 15 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 87th Legislature, Second Called Session. Based on the ATPE-opposed HB 1468 that failed to pass in the regular session, SB 15 expands state funding options for students in full-time virtual schools. On Aug. 31, 2021, the Senate voted to concur in House amendments to the bill, thereby sending SB 15 to the governor's desk. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal). Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #11 - 2021: ACCOUNTABILITY

    Voted against an accountability bill that would have significantly expanded the appointed education commissioner's power to investigate and take over the management of school districts. ATPE opposed this version of the bill.

    Senate Bill 1365 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The Senate passed its version of the school takeover bill, which ATPE opposed, on third reading, May 5, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal.) SB 1365 was later amended favorably by the House, and the Legislature passed a final version of SB 1365 that ATPE did not oppose. Read more about the bill here.

  • Senate Vote #12 - 2021: TESTING/ACCELERATED INSTRUCTION

    Voted for a bill that eliminated the STAAR passage requirement for grade promotion but requires accelerated instruction for students who failed a STAAR test.

    House Bill 4545 by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 87th Legislature, Regular Session. The Senate passed HB 4545 on third reading, May 26, 2021. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate Journal). Read more about the bill here.

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #1 - 2019: EDUCATION FUNDING & REFORM

    Voted for a major school finance and reform bill providing $6.5 billion in increased funding for public education and $5 billion for property tax relief.

    House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On May 6, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #2 - 2019: RETIREMENT

    Voted for an ATPE-supported educator retirement bill making the TRS pension fund sound by increasing contribution rates and authorizing a one-time 13th check for retirees.

    Senate Bill 12 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On March 25, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #3 - 2019: SCHOOL SAFETY

    Voted for an ATPE-supported school safety bill offering funding to implement school safety improvements and provide mental health resources.

    Senate Bill 11 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 29, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #4 - 2019: COMPENSATION

    Voted for a bill that would have provided across-the-board pay raises of $5,000 for classroom teachers and librarians.

    Senate Bill 3 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On March 4, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.) The bill later died in the House as other teacher pay language was chosen for inclusion in House Bill 3.

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #5 - 2019: COMPENSATION

    Co-authored and voted for an amendment to House Bill 3 that would have removed a controversial merit pay program from the school finance bill. ATPE supported the amendment.

    Senate Floor Amendment #8 by Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) to House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. During the Senate floor debate on the school finance bill on May 6, 2019, Sen. Menendez offered Floor Amendment #8 to remove merit pay language from the bill. The amendment failed to pass. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #6 - 2019: COMPENSATION

    Voted for an amendment to House Bill 3 that would have provided a pay raise to all professional school employees, in addition to classroom teachers and librarians. ATPE supported the amendment.

    Senate Floor Amendment #30 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) to House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. During the Senate floor debate on the school finance bill on May 6, 2019, Sen. Zaffirini offered Floor Amendment #30 to provide a pay raise for all professional public school employees. The amendment failed to pass. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #7 - 2019: TESTING

    Voted for an amendment to House Bill 3 that would have required passages on STAAR exams to be written at the appropriate grade-levels. ATPE supported the amendment.

    Senate Floor Amendment #66 by Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) to House Bill 3 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. During the Senate floor debate on the school finance bill on May 6, 2019, Sen. Menendez offered Floor Amendment #66 to ensure grade-level readability of STAAR tests. The amendment failed to pass. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.)

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #8 - 2019: VOUCHERS

    Voted against a bill that would have expanded full-time virtual schools and created a "virtual voucher." ATPE opposed the bill.

    Senate Bill 1455 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 23, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.) The bill later died after it was left pending in a House committee.

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #9 - 2019: POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT

    Voted against a bill that would have restricted educators' First Amendment rights to engage in political speech and subjected them to criminal penalties. ATPE opposed the bill.

    Senate Bill 1569 by Sen. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 17, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.) The bill later died after it was left pending in a House committee.

  • (Historical) Senate Vote #10 - 2019: POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT

    Voted against a bill to prohibit school districts and other local governmental entities from funding legislative advocacy efforts or paying membership dues to organizations that engage in legislative advocacy.

    Senate Bill 29 by Sen. Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), 86th Legislature, Regular Session. On April 17, 2019, the Senate voted to approve the bill on third reading. (View an official record of the vote in the Senate journal.) The bill was later defeated on the House floor.

Candidate Survey Responses


N/A for 2022

Below are the candidate's responses to the 2018 ATPE Candidate Survey:


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

For 10 years I have had the honor of serving as a Trustee on the Burleson ISD Board of Trustees and for the past 17 years I have served as a Trustee at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth. Education is my passion and the reason I am running for Texas State Senate. Through my years of service, I have seen first-hand the need to invest in our schools. For too long our state officials have ignored our schools, our teachers, our parents and local school officials. It's time for leaders who understand that our state is rapidly changing, and our public school system must change to fit the unique needs of our diverse and dynamic population. I believe the state must invest in our public schools and provide relief for local property taxpayers. Instead of failed voucher schemes, I believe we should invest in public schools of choice as we have in Burleson where our students can attend a public STEAM, STEM, leadership or game theory academy. By keeping our dollars in our public schools, we have been able to provide Burleson students with the opportunities to focus on their subject area of interest and blend curriculum to improve outcomes and opportunities. I am passionate about college and career training. In Burleson I have worked with community partners to help raise over $1.2 million dollars to provide Burleson students over 900 college scholarships to Hill College. Our recipients can graduate with an associates degree debt free. I believe that higher education and workforce training open the doors to endless opportunities, and we must promote higher education in Texas. And finally, I believe it's well past time to invest in our teachers and ensure the promises and commitments made to our retired teachers are fulfilled.

 

2. Is there a need to increase state funding to meet the needs of our student population? If so, how would you recommend securing more revenue for public education?

The state's share of funding for public education is at a 20 year low. Yet as a state, we continue to add an additional 1,000 residents every day. The math simply doesn't add up. If we do not invest in our schools, we will have overcrowded classrooms, facilities that can not handle the population growth and teachers who are even more overworked and underpaid. This is not a recipe for success. The state of Texas must find ways to strategically increase our state's share of education funding, thus reducing the property tax burden placed on Texas homeowners. We must also strategically use economic development programs to stimulate local economies. A line by line analysis of the state budget is desperately needed as there is not a greater investment we can make than in Texas' children.

 

3. Healthcare costs for educators have increased dramatically and outpaced the state's contributions, with many current and retired educators now paying more out of pocket than their counterparts in other states or in other professions. As a legislator, how would you address this crisis to ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?

It's time for a serious look at how we handle healthcare costs for our teachers at the state level. In 2003 when lawmakers created the state-run health insurance plan, the state agreed to kick in $75 per month for health care and school districts agreed to kick-in at least $150. The rest would be covered by the employee. While this provided much-needed help for our teachers in 2003, the increasing costs of health care have put extreme burdens on teachers who are being forced to pay even more out of their pockets for health care coverage. So what can we do? For starters, we should look at ways the state might be able to increase their share. While the budget is tight, we must prioritize the benefits of our teachers if we are going to attract the best talent into the teaching profession, and both parties have said there is agreement here. A solution to decreasing the out-of-pocket health care expenses for our teachers isn't going to be easy. But if we are serious about taking care of our teachers and attracting the best talent to the profession—and I am—we are going to have to work together to find a long-term solution.

 

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 believe that we should maintain the traditional defined benefit plan. I also believe it is critical to find long-term solutions to continue to fund and maintain TRS. For too long state lawmakers have prioritized short-term funding solutions for TRS. While these short-term solutions are needed to keep TRS afloat, we are kicking the can down the road when it comes to our retired teachers. I believe we need to make the tough decisions and make TRS care a top state priority.

 

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

I believe that testing the competencies and readiness of our students is essential to making sure they are on track, but our state's over-reliance on high stakes standardized testing has to come to an end. The stress on students makes learning more difficult, the teaching to the test makes teaching more difficult and over-reliance on STARR scores makes running a school district more difficult. I believe we need to work with local school districts, teachers, parents AND students to find a better solution than high stakes testing that measures students progress and holds schools accountable for learning outcomes.

 

6. Would you support a state-funded across-the-board pay raise for all Texas classroom teachers?

I believe teacher pay should be raised across the board and the state should help with this cost. While I think we should raise pay across the board, we also must make sure pay raises are consistent with cost of living increases in various regions of our state. In Burleson when increasing teacher pay, we have looked at school districts across the metroplex to ensure our raises are in line with similar districts in the region.

 

7. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?

We should not base teacher pay on high stakes testing. For the same reason why student testing scores are not necessarily indicative of student performance, student scores on tests are not indicative of teacher performance. I think pay increases and promotions should be based on multiple measures that accurately determine the performance of a teacher, principal or other public school employees.

 

8. 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?

As a dedicated advocate for public education, there is not single circumstance in which I would support school vouchers. When public school districts are cash-strapped, the last thing we should do is take money away from them.

 

9. State law allows educators and other public employees to voluntarily choose to join professional associations like ATPE and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks at no cost to taxpayers. Do you support or oppose letting all public employees use payroll deduction for their membership dues?

I will work with labor organizations and teaching associations to protect the paycheck freedoms of Texas public employees. As a former trustee on a school board, I fully support the option of teachers in my district, and across Texas, to easily and conveniently deduct association dues from their paychecks if they so choose. We must protect the rights of all public employees, including teachers, to voluntarily deduct union and association dues from their paychecks.

 

10. Current law allows school districts with accountability ratings of "C" or better to become Districts of Innovation (DOIs) and exempt themselves from many state statutes, such as elementary school class-size limits, requirements for hiring certified teachers, and more. Would you recommend any changes to the criteria for becoming a DOI? Would you place any limitations on the state laws that can be waived by DOIs?

Created in 2015, Districts of Innovation are a new tool for public schools in Texas. Both Democrats and Republicans supported their implementation and school districts across Texas have taken advantage of this new law. In Burleson, where I served as a Trustee, we chose to become a district of innovation. Being only two years old, I think it's important we look closely at the performance of DOI's moving forward and ensure that the students attending these schools are meeting competencies and attending schools that are thriving learning environments. For the most part, districts that have become DOI's are the top districts in Texas and have track records that prove their ability to make unique and strategic decision to improve their own districts. I believe we should trust districts who have earned the ability to become DOI's but watch closely as the District of Innovation policy evolves in the coming years.

 

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


No additional comments