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Mike Collier
Statewide Lt. Governor
Status

Challenger

Party

Democrat

Occupation

CPA/Consultant

Address

P.O. Box 14648, Humble, TX, 77347

Additional Information

Collier won a May 24 runoff in the 2022 Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor.

Ran for the same office unsuccessfully in 2018.

Endorsed in the 2022 general election and Democratic primary election runoff 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 2018 election.

Endorsed in the 2022 Democratic primary election and the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election by the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle. He also received their endorsement in the 2018 general election

Endorsed by the editorial board of the Austin American-Statesman in the 2022 Democratic primary election and in the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election.

Endorsed by the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News in the 2022 Democratic primary election and in the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election. Collier also received their endorsement in the 2018 Democratic primary election and the 2018 general electon

Endorsed by the editorial board of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram in the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election.

Endorsed by the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News in the March 2022 Democratic primary election and in the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election. He also received their endorsement in the 2018 general elecction and the 2018 Democratic primary election.

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

Endorsed in the 2018 primary election by the editorial board of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. 


Related Blog Posts

Candidate Survey Responses


Has not responded to the 2022 ATPE Candidate Survey.

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

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

We must end discussion of vouchers once and for all and focus on excellence in Texas public schools. We should aspire to the best public schools in the country, and that means improved teacher compensation, smaller class size, appropriate use of specialists, and nutrition (among other reforms). And we need to drop high stakes testing and replace it with a measurement and evaluation system that supports teachers (i.e., designed by educators). An overarching goal is to let professional educators, not lawyers, lobbyists and politicians, make the critical strategic decisions. And the state should be an effective partner in achieving public education excellence, not an antagonist which in my opinion is how we find things today.

 

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?

Defects in the property tax system allow the owners of large, commercial and industrial properties to under-pay their taxes as a result of below-market valuations. Based on work done by the largest appraisal districts in 2006, Texas schools are missing $5 billion per year in tax revenues.This loophole is well documented, yet it has been ignored for years. By closing the loophole we will recover these revenues and be well on our way to improving school funding. This will be my top priority in the 2019 legislative session. This is not raising taxes; this is enforcing the law (the Texas Constitution requires all properties to be appraised at market value for tax purposes). The next reform, if needed, is re-doing the "tax swap" of 2006 which created a multi-billion dollar structural deficit that was resolved by skyrocketing property values (which continue to hurt homeowners and small businesses in favor of large corporations). In each case, I do not propose raising taxes on homeowners and small businesses. In fact, property taxes have increased while spending on students has decreased(!). The state has deliberately shifted the tax burden from large corporations onto the backs of homeowners and small businesses. Our taxes are too high, and investment in public education is too low. I discovered this failure of fiscal policy when I ran for Comptroller. I am running for Texas Lt Governor to reverse it.

 

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. How would you address this crisis to ensure that active and retired educators have access to affordable healthcare?

The state reneged on its commitment to retired teachers in the last legislative session and Texans are stunned that we would do this. I will fight to reverse the decision and fully fund retired teacher health benefits. TRTA estimates that an additional $300 million would have obviated the need to cut benefits. Comptroller Hegar calls $300 million "budget dust." Try explaining that to a retired teacher who (1) has not had a stipend increase in 17 years, (2) is not eligible to fully participate in social security, (3) does not have social security survivor benefits, and (4) was hit with a $300-$400 monthly premium increase and massive increase to deductibles. Texas should fully fund teacher retirement benefits, period. We are a prosperous state, a deal is a deal, and we MUST do this to attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession.

 

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 support maintaining a defined benefit pension system. I do not support conversion to defined contribution (401-k) system because I have never seen such a conversion serve any purpose other than reduce overall compensation.

 

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 the progress of students, etc.?

High stakes testing as we find it today is a disaster. Teachers, students, parents, all hate it. It serves no useful purpose and it works hard against the development of critical thinking skills. The current (failed) system was designed by lobbyists and testing companies, not professional educators. It should be scrapped. I do, however, believe in accountability systems. But they should be designed by people who know what they are doing (i.e., professional educators) and the objective should be to support teachers and improve the learning environment. I do not support teacher evaluation based solely (or even largely) on tests; tests should be used primarily for high-level diagnostics. Evaluating teacher performance is far too complex, and far too important, to be mechanized.

 

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

Yes absolutely. Texas ranks well below the national average, which is unacceptable. If we are to have the best public schools in the country, we need the best teachers. And we need to reduce the very high turnover rates, largely driven by compensation. Our compensation systems should reflect our ambition to have the best public education system in America.

 

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

Teachers cannot chose their students. So any system that links teacher pay to student performance is, on its face, problematic. Evaluating teacher performance is very complex, and very important. Evaluation systems should be designed by professional educators, and they do not lend themselves to quantitative analysis. Most importantly, evaluation systems must have teacher buy-in.

 

8. 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?

NO. I am opposed to vouchers. And I am deeply skeptical of money-making schemes linked to home schooling.

 

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 public employees use payroll deduction for their membership dues?

I support voluntary payroll deduction for membership dues and will fight very hard to preserve them. I will be very aggressive in supporting teachers' fundamental right to participate in associations.

 

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 recommend placing any limitations on the state laws that can be waived by DOIs?

Candidly, I need to know more about this. But I am deeply suspicious of anything that could be used as a pretext for larger class sizes, employing uncertified teachers, or otherwise circumventing standards that promote the highest quality education environment.

 

11. What steps would you take to increase the participation of educators in education-related policymaking decisions?

As discussed above, I believe far too many strategic decisions in Texas public education are made by lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians. This would never fly in business. Key decision makers should be professional educators. There is a deep, unmistakable condescension toward teachers and professional educators by the political elite in Texas. We'll never achieve excellence until we turn this completely around. And this will be among my highest priorities as Lt Governor.

 

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


No additional comments