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Raul Camacho
Texas House District 20
Status

Challenger

Party

Democrat

Occupation

Entrepreneur

Address

651 N US-183 Suite 335 #4040, Leander, TX, 78641

Additional Information


Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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

My 1st priority for public education is to not allow another School Shooting. 2nd, we need true universal pre-k. 3rd, we need better working conditions for teachers, especially in inner cities and title 1 schools. 4th, we need to have separate Special Needs & Behavioral Schools for a better educational experience. Last but not least, we need to update the Teacher retirement system. Texas is at the bottom when it comes to Teacher Retirement benefits.

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?

Simple, we need to start taxing large corporations to help fund our schools. It is long over do.

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?

We need Medicaid Expansion in Texas. Currently, the Texas GOP doesn't allow Medicaid Expansion. Many retired teachers who are ill could benefit from it. Medicare Insurance providers in Texas are extremely stingy with their plans. Texans pay more for Health Insurance and receive less benefits than their peers in other states. I will work with Health Insurance companies for more affordable health 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?

We need a hybrid plan that provides traditional defined benefit pensions that provides adjustment for inflations.
 
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 feel standardize testing is helpful, but I also feel that it is not 100% effective to measure a student's academic knowledge. I feel we have a '1-size shoe fits all system' that is not benefiting all students. The current standardized is out dated on how it is applied to the students. It is unfair for students who have learning disabilities, and for students that are wired to learn a different way. It is also unfair to use this type of system to evaluate teacher pay and school accountability ratings. It is no secret that Texas is at the bottom when it comes to quality education. We need to learn from the best education systems abroad and apply that here. I also recommend that comprehensive testing should be on a computer screen where audio, images and video is used during the questions. This method of testing will keep the student more focus, easier to understand the questions, and help recall what was taught in class.
 
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 need further research for each subject, but overall I do believe that every child should be entitled to Scholarships if they performed well academically.
 
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?

Yes.
 
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'm okay with Charter Schools. I just don't want Charter Schools to burden tax-payers, or take funds away from our public education system.
 
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?

Public Schools should ALWAYS put the well-being of our children's health and safety first. If people do not want their children to comply with face coverings during a deadly pandemic, and they don't want immunizations for their children then they can home-school their children.
 
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 only be used when there is a deadly pandemic, and for students who are not feeling well. I also believe virtual education should be used for tutoring.
 
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's role shall not punish teachers or deny curriculum of true historical events taught in our history and social studies classrooms.
 
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?

I worked as a Teacher Assistant for Special Needs Kids for AISD in 2014. I witness Teachers quitting on the spot. Teachers are leaving for many reasons, most notably poor working conditions, fear of liability just to protect themselves from violent students, low pay, and an absence of opportunities to advance in their careers. In many areas, teachers are forced to take on Special Needs children who are not certified to work with these kids.
 
Many teachers feel unappreciated, and they don't receive support from parents. With more teachers leaving, the ones who stay are asked to do more with less support, this leads to burnout.
 
It is also unfair to use standardized testing to evaluate teacher pay and performance. Teachers are also tired of politicians over-reaching into the classroom. Last but not least, Teachers are tired of School Shootings.
 
We need fix all these issues.
 
We need to create better working conditions. We need safe environments where guns and other weapons cannot enter our schools.
 
Teachers need to have immunity protections for defending themselves from violent students, or when they report suspicious behavior, or simply doing the right thing looking out for their student's safety.
 
Teachers need to be acknowledged, respected and rewarded. Parents need to be accountable for their child's behavior.
 
Starting salaries need to start at 75k. Teacher Assistant salary need to start at $25 an hour. We need to offer Teachers better retirement benefits.
 
I would encourage School Districts to offer incentive programs like “Fringe Benefits” see program here (www.fringe.us). Teachers need to be reimbursed for classroom material they bought for their students.
 

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


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