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John Bryant
Texas House District 114
Status

Candidate

Party

Democrat

Occupation

CEO; Attorney

Address

P. O. Box 140977972, Dallas, TX, 75214

Additional Information

Bryant won a May 24 runoff in the 2022 Democratic primary for Texas House District 114. 

Previously served as a Texas state representative and U.S. Congressman. Ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 1996.

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. 

Bryant participated in a nonpartisan candidate forum hosted by the education-focused nonprofit organization Raise Your Hand Texas prior to the 2022 primary election. Watch video of that event here.

Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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


My top priority is making Texas public schools, now 43rd in per pupil spending, the best in the nation by dramatically increasing the state share of funding for public education

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?

Additional funding is definitely needed. The state share of public education funding should be increased to 60% as part of a plan to put us on course to have the best public schools in the nation and to simultaneously be able to relieve local residential property taxpayers of what is now a disproportionate share of the burden.

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?

Texas educators and retirees should have comprehensive health care benefits both while working and when retired. Benefits should be equal to those of retired state legislators, and should include prescription coverage and dental care.

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?

The TRS should be a traditional defined benefit pension plan for all future, current, and retired educators. I do not support converting it to a 401K-type plan now or in the future. We should increase the retirement benefits presently being paid to retired teachers to match the cost of living increase for all the years they have not received cost of living increases and institute a permanent annual cost of living increase.

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.?

Testing should occur at the beginning of the year so teachers know where to start with their new class. Student testing should not be used for determining teacher pay, school accountability ratings, or teacher evaluation. Teachers be able to teach and should not be under pressure to teach to the test.

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?

No. Absolutely not.

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 dues deduction from paychecks and will support letting all public employees have this right.

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?

I am opposed to expansion of charter schools. Those in existence should be required to meet all requirements of public schools, should be evaluated to make certain they are performing at a level equal to the public schools, and should be subject to oversight as a condition of 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?

These decisions should be entirely in the hands of the school board or their designee.

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 believe virtual education should be reserved for special situations and circumstances only, such as physical disability, pandemic, abnormally long distances, and/or lack of transportation. Classroom instruction should be the norm.

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?

The state has a role in setting a basic standard for public school curricula. The local district and its educators should be the ones to determine how they meet the basic standard and be free to exceed it.

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?

Dramatically raise teacher, principal, and staff pay to make Texas first in the nation in educator compensation. This will attract the most and the best education professionals in the nation and will provide for a reasonable distribution of work among an adequate complement of teachers. Proposals that continually avoid facing the common sense reality that we have to invest more money in our public education system if we want to have nationally ranked schools should be called out for the diversions they are.

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

If elected I will use my seniority from prior service of five terms in the Texas House to seek a seat on the Education Committee.