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Venton C. Jones
Texas House District 100
Status

Candidate

Party

Democrat

Occupation

Realtor / CEO of the Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network

Address

1075 Griffin Street West, Suite 212 , Dallas, TX, 75215

Additional Information

Jones won a May 24 runoff in the 2022 Democratic primary for Texas House District 100. 

Endorsed in the 2022 primary election and primary runoff election 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.

Endorsed by the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News in the March 2022 Democratic primary election and in the May 2022 Democratic primary runoff election.

Jones participated in a nonpartisan candidate forum hosted by the education-focused nonprofit organization Raise Your Hand Texas prior to the 2022 primary election. Watch video of that event here.

Candidate Survey Responses


RESPONSES TO THE 2022 ATPE CANDIDATE SURVEY:

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


1) Strengthen the leadership pipeline for new public educators in the State of Texas.
2) Provide funding to help support the health and wellness of public educators and students.
3) Increasing pay for public educators and teacher retirement.

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 support the authorization of a COLA and efforts to automatically trigger a COLA without legislation action (e.g. annual increases, during times of inflation, and availability of funding over 80%).

Another recommendation I would make is to increase the value of the weights, particularly limited English proficiency and socioeconomic weights, to provide more resources to urban areas where they are serving a disproportionate number of these populations.

Additionally, I support the legalization of cannabis in Texas, much like we’ve seen from our neighbors in Oklahoma, to raise revenues for our state’s public education system which 64% of Texans support.

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?

In order to address the challenges of rising health care costs, I am in support of legislation that would increase the state contribution toward healthcare deductibles for active and retired teachers, which has not been increased since 2001.

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?

The Teachers Retirement System should be maintained as a traditionally defined benefit pension plan for all future, current, and retired educators.

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.?

The role of standardized test is to benchmark the progress of schools and districts. I do not believe test scores should be used punitively or be attached to teacher pay, school accountability ratings or used as the single measure of student progress.

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 not support a 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.

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 would support letting all public employees continue to exercise their right to choose to join professional associations and have membership dues deducted from their paychecks.

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 do not support the expansion of charter schools in House District 100. I will be a strong champion for our funding and growing public schools.

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?

During disease outbreaks, I support school districts making the right decisions to protect the health of the children they serve.

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 nothing will beat having the focused attention of students in an in-person classroom environment. Virtual education can be helpful as a supplement to the in-person classroom, and good during times of emergency (like COVID-19).

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?

It is the fundamental role of our state legislature to provide adequate funding to the Texas Educational Agency. We must also be committed to ensuring the delivery of high-quality and fact-based curriculum to our students. As a State Representative, I will work to support legislation that will increase public school funding and advocate to allow districts and teachers to develop and deliver age-appropriate curriculum to our students regarding civics, religion, slavery, and teaching the actual events of Texas and American history.

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?

Due to the strains put on the Texan public education system by COVID-19 and the politicization of the classroom, one of my top priorities is to strengthen and diversify the leadership pipeline for new public educators in the State of Texas. Many teachers and administrators are leaving public education in record numbers leaving a need for more quality educators to replace those individuals.
 

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


No additional comments