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Jamee Jolly
Texas House District 70
Status

Candidate

Party

Republican

Occupation

Former Executive Director - Plano ISD Education Foundation

Address

P. O. Box 260927 , Plano, TX, 75026

Additional Information

Jolly won a May 24 runoff in the 2022 Republican primary for Texas House District 70.

Former Executive Director of the Plano ISD Education Foundation.

Endorsed by the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News in the March 2022 Republican primary election and the May 2022 Republican primary runoff election.

Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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


Greater funding for public schools.
Teacher pay raises.
Shoring up the TRS retirement and healthcare system.

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?

The education system in Texas is one of the lowest ranked in the nation when it comes to funding. There are efficiencies that can be studied to ensure that all of the money intended and collected from taxpayers to be used in education is being used in that manner and not to supplant funds in the state’s budget. If elected, I will be focused on finding ways to ensure that the state's portion of funding for education is sustained. If we continually assess what the cost is to educate a student, based on the current market, and we truly value public education and the role that it plays in the Texas miracle, then we will need to make sacrifices and hard decisions along the way to adequately fund it.

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?

The increases in insurance costs are across the board - not just for retirees but also for current employees, across all sectors. We must continually assess coverage options and plans so that retirees and employees do not find themselves without adequate coverage.

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 would oppose legislation that would move TRS to a hybrid or defined contribution. This puts too much risk on the individual and does not provide a more secure retirement option for educators.

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.?

I am not an educator nor do I have the knowledge of how to best grade performance when it comes to learning so this is hard to answer. I do know that students need to be judged not just on grades or test scores, but we have to make sure we are graduating well-rounded human beings that can contribute to society. We also need to make sure that the skills being taught and the careers that we are preparing students to have in their next chapter align with the needs and demands in the marketplace. In addition to student performance, I think you must also evaluate how funds are being managed at the campus and district level, employee satisfaction and performance and parent/ family engagement.

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?

I do not support the use of public funds to support private schools or homeschooling. I believe that our success as a country and a state is based on ensuring every child, no matter their financial situation, has access to a quality education. Diverting funds from public schools to private entities that do not have the same qualifications, oversight or requirements when it comes to accepting and educating children, should never be allowed.

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?

I support continuing to allow educators to join professional associations and have the fee deducted - post tax - so that they can partake in the benefits that membership in these organizations provide.

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?

If enrollment demands are not being met with traditional public schools, I would support expansion of public charter schools as long as education standards are being met and no local tax dollars are diverted for funding.

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?

Local districts, led by local school board members and administration, have the information needed to make the best decisions for their students and employees when it comes to disease outbreak, remote instruction, etc.

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?

There should be options that best fit a child's ability to learn. I know that during the pandemic some students had increased academic success with virtual learning, while others did not perform as well. I also know that some students, based on their family situation, could also benefit from having the option to attend school virtually. We have to make sure that the same rigor would be present with online learning as it is in the classroom. I know that some virtual school models have seen great success.

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?

We need to make sure that we have trained professionals to make decisions when it comes to curriculum and instructional materials. There should be guidelines that provide the proper oversight so that parents have confidence in the materials being shared with students, while also making sure that educators have the tools and resources to teach the curriculum that has been established to best educate and prepare Texas students.

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?

We must address teacher retention and recruitment. Not only are teachers leaving the profession, but there are fewer college students choosing this path. The state needs to partner with districts to find ways to incentivize teachers to remain in the profession and to recruit future talent to fill these needs. We must make sure teachers have time to adequately plan so that they do not feel overwhelmed by the increase in expectations. If staffed properly, we could provide relief in the classroom to allow for planning and management of the workload.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


No additional comments