1114 SW. Military Dr., St. 103, San Antonio, TX
Additional InformationRamirez previously ran and was defeated in a November 2021 special election runoff to fill a vacancy in House District 118.
Former zoning and planning director for the city of San Antonio.
Endorsed in the 2022 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. He also received the group's endorsement in the 2021 special election.
Candidate Survey Responses
HAS NOT RESPONDED TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY.
BELOW ARE THE CANDIDATE'S RESPONSES TO THE ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY FOR THE 2021 SPECIAL ELECTION:
1. If elected, what will be your top priorities for public education?
My top three priorities are as follows:
-Increase per pupil funding
-Increase teacher pay
-Revamp accountability standards that focus too heavily on standardized testing
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?
Specifically, we need to work on revamping our school finance system by diversifying the investments in the Permanent School Fund, which are primarily centered on the Oil and Gas industries. We also need to lower our reliance on local property taxes, which overwhelmingly affect private homeowners, to fund our public education system.
Texas falls behind the national average in per-pupil spending and in teacher pay. We need to increase school funding to ensure that students in Texas are among the nation’s best educated, and that teachers in Texas are among the highest paid.
3. How would you address the challenge of rising healthcare costs facing Texas educators and ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?
I believe we need to begin by providing a sorely needed Cost of Living Adjustment, not only to address rising healthcare costs, but costs in utilities, rent, and activities that contribute to living a life filled with much deserved respect and integrity.
I’ve spoken with several retired educators who would fare much better with a COLA that takes into consideration their tenure and time as a retired teacher.
As for our active teachers, we need to ensure that we offer competitive benefits and a salary to back that up. I look forward to working with our teacher’s unions to draft/support legislation that creates robust opportunities to expand affordable healthcare for our teachers.
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 a defined plan for all educators; however we should build in flexibility to allow for growth, not regression to those benefits our retired educators will receive.
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 school accountability purposes, for evaluating teachers, for measuring student progress, etc.?
I am a firm believer that standardized tests should not define a student and should not prevent children from advancing. Specifically, in my home district, Harlandale ISD, where the student body is 88% economically disadvantaged, there is no equity in predicating the preparedness of a student based on a single day of testing.
I believe there is a place for standardized testing, but it should be to track progress, not determine progress.
6. To what extent should student performance determine teacher pay?
In my opinion, it should not determine teacher pay. Once again, each school and district is unique, and you cannot predicate success based on standardized measures wholly. To tie that success into a teacher’s pay is not productive. Teachers deserve a base pay of at least $60k that will allow our schools to attract and retain the best talent.
7. 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?
I would not be in favor of creating or supporting any legislation that would steer money away from our public schools.
8. 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?
I do and will continue to support this right. All educators and other public employees should have the right to join professional associations without state interference.
9. 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?
I firmly believe we should reduce the number of Charter schools in Texas. I will work in the Legislature to prevent additional monies from being dedicated to charter schools. I am a product of the Harlandale Independent School District—a district that accepts any and ALL students regardless of background or grades. Charter schools are not held to the same standards in the sense that they are able to cull those who do not meet their standards and be more selective about the students they enroll, allowing them to tout 100% graduation and college acceptance rates.
10. Recent legislation has made it possible for school districts to exempt themselves from many state laws (e.g., class-size limits, requirements for hiring certified teachers, minimum salary schedules, school calendar restrictions, etc.) by partnering with outside entities, allowing campuses to be managed by a charter school operator, or becoming part of a District of Innovation, for example. Do you agree with this type of deregulation of public schools, and how should such non-traditional schools be governed?
I support a repeal of SB 1882 to ensure private charter operators are not allowed to take control over public school campuses. The SB 1882 Limited accountability to the school board. Charter schools should not be given special treatment while receiving school funding.
Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey
No additional comments