Independent / Third-Party
International Legal and Business Consultant
P.O. Box 5648, Lago Vista, TX, 78645
Candidate Survey Responses
RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:
1. If elected, what will your top priorities for public education be?
We must reduce the cost of public education to taxpayers and improve the quality for our children. We can do that by fostering competition via expanded use of charter schools and vouchers for private schools.
2. Health care 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. How would you address this crisis to ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable health care?
Healthcare costs are going up because the government is too heavily involved in our healthcare system. I’ll work with other governors and Congress to adopt free market reforms that will bring down the cost of healthcare to all Texans, including educators.
3. 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?
Depends on more factors. Both plans have risk, especially with recent explosive inflation.
4. 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 teacher pay, school accountability ratings, evaluating teachers, measuring the progress of students, etc.?
With more school choice, families can send their children to the schools that best meet their needs. Some families might choose schools that focus on standardized testing, and some will send their children to schools with more progressive or subjective evaluation methods.
5. Would you support legislation 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?
Yes. Republicans have dominated Texas government for decades and yet they have failed to implement vouchers, tax credits and other systems that would help middle and low-income families have school choices the way wealthy people have school choice today.
6. 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 public employees use payroll deduction for their membership dues?
I’m opposed to giving organizations direct access to our teachers’ paychecks. It makes things too prone to pressure and abuse and I don’t want the administration deciding which organizations are worthy of qualifying for that automatic deduction.
7. To what extent do you believe public schools, including charter schools, should be allowed exemptions from school laws and regulations?
I support allowing public schools, including charters, to be exempt from many school laws and regulations.
8. What steps would you take to increase the participation of educators in education-related policy decisions?
I’d like to reduce the role of government in education. That will increase the participation of educators, administrators, families, and students.
9. How much freedom should districts have to make decisions during disease outbreaks, such as requiring face coverings and immunizations or transitioning to remote instruction?
Those decisions should be made at the local level. The state can provide suggestions, but the final decisions should be local.
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 support more educational choices and options, including virtual. Some families can’t afford to live in districts with good schools. For parents that want to, they should be allowed to try virtual options (private and public).
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 federal government should not be involved at all. The state should be minimally involved. Local districts should have the most control. People argue over curriculum and other policies. More school choice means parents can send their kids to schools with a curriculum and values that match their preferences rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
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 need to cut down on the bureaucracy and paperwork that takes so much of our teachers' time so they can focus more on teaching and working directly with their students, especially given the added burdens from COVID-19.
Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey
COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:
I’m the Libertarian Party candidate. Too often Democrats want to force you to spend your money a certain way and Republicans want to force you to behave a certain way. Government should protect our liberties, not take them away. I respect your right to make choices for yourself and family. Freedom promotes peace, harmony, and abundance for all.