Independent / Third-Party
Insurance Claims Adjuster
15401 Ozone Place, Austin, TX, 78728-3519
Candidate Survey Responses
RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:
1. If elected, what will be your top priorities for public education?
Education can be improved by giving parents and students more choice in types of schooling and educational programs. One size fits all doesn't serve the needs of most students. Government schools should compete with charter schools, private schools, and with each other to provide the best options for our kids.
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'm not sure if more funding is needed. I would like to see a review of how the current funds are spent first. Unfortunately, with government at all levels, there are often unnecessary or excessive costs involved for services.
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?
This is a problem for all Texans, not just educators. We need less government involvement in healthcare, not more. Texas should recognize physician and nursing licenses from other states and countries, so as to increase the number of doctors and nurses eligible to provide 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?
I favor the 401K-style plan, where investment results drive benefit amounts.
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'm not very keen on standardized testing. Students should be taught different subjects, not just how to take a test. I don't think teachers should be paid based on test scores. Teachers can be randomly assigned dumb or disruptive students that they can't help very much. My wife is a teacher and has a few stories.
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?
Yes. I am a strong supporter of school choice. Those proposals are good ideas. Government schools could use a little competition with the private sector, and with each other, for that matter.
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, if it is a voluntary choice.
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 are a good idea. There should be as many of them as the marketplace can bear.
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 don't believe the governor should be making blanket decisions for all school districts. School boards should have reasonable autonomy to run their local schools. However, an excess of caution on the part of risk-averse school officials is causing many families to remove students from local schools and to seek alternatives.
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?
Some students will do fine with virtual instruction, but even more won't do well at all. Pandemic measures have caused so many students to fall behind in their educational development. In-person learning is optimum, though virtual could be used now and then to supplement it.
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?
There's a problem at all levels with political considerations and ideologies driving school curriculum, rather than what is objectively good for students. The most local approach would be the best.
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?
Currently, some districts have staffing problems due to infected employees not being able to come to work. I expect this problem to pass, hopefully sooner than later. I'm not sure if more teachers are needed or not, to answer the question about workloads. However, there are far too many school administrators. There can be some cut backs there.
Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey
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