user avatar
Ryan L. McCamy
Texas House District 24
Status

Challenger

Affiliation

Libertarian

Party

Independent / Third-Party

Occupation

Help Desk Lead

Address

12151 21st Street, Santa Fe, TX, 77510

Additional Information


Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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


I am against standardized testing. These tests cause schools to teach to test rather than teaching to help students learn. I would also like to pull away from Federal funding for Texas schools. D.C. legislators should not have a say in the education of Texas students.

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?

I believe that funding can be maintained without increasing taxes for citizens. Cutting funding from other departments could be re-routed to education. Also, restricting funding to only necessary improvements would cut costs to individual districts and cities. School districts should be held individually accountable for their spending. Schools need raises for teachers and new books, not necessarily sports facilities, as an example.

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?

Healthcare costs can be addressed, not just for educators, but for Texans in general by holding the medical industry accountable by auditing healthcare cost as compared to what the actual cost for the medical facility is. Keeping the medical and pharmaceutical industries honest is the best way to reduce costs for everyone.

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 feel that both options should be available to educators, as well as the option to opt out if they feel the need to. Allowing educators a 401(k) type program allows them to put in as much or as little as they feel they can afford, rather than a flat rate for all.

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.?

Standardized testing should be completely removed from the classroom. Educators should not be "programming" children to pass a test in order to get or keep funding. Also, standardized testing does not equate to intelligence. I believe schools should be oriented toward helping students develop their strengths, and helping improve their weaknesses. As Albert Einstein said. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

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 would vote to help with the financial aspects of not utilizing public schools. It is the choice of the parent which school their child should attend. However, some parents cannot afford the school that they wish to send their child. Also, there are families which believe in educating their children themselves. These families should be afforded the same financial compensation as those who attend public facilities.

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 membership to non-union organizations that advocate for teachers' and student rights.

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?

Charter schools serve many purposes, one of the greatest being focused education to develop skills for future occupations. I feel charter schools are an advantage and should be expanded.

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?

I believe that the parents of the school districts should make the choices regarding their children's health. The school districts can have guidelines, but the final decision should be left to the parents.

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 that virtual education should be limited to those students who cannot come in class, or as decided by the parents. Virtual learning can be a vital tool if a child is sick, or hurt. However, I feel face to face education is more advantageous. So, virtual education should be used as a last resort.

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?

Again, each child is different in their strengths and weaknesses. Those closest to these students would have a better understanding about their students than legislators in Austin. I feel the state could have an overall guideline, but the primary decisions be made at the school and classroom levels.

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 feel that vaccination mandates should not be enabled or enforced. If there is a shortage of teachers, why let those go that want to be there, but do not want the vaccine? I also feel that educators should not be held responsible to provide classroom supplies out of pocket. I would push for a stipend for teachers to help facilitate educational aids for their classrooms.
 

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

I have the utmost respect for educators. I was a product of both public and private schools, so I feel I have a good understanding of what it takes to facilitate both.