How we can fix education funding in Texas AND lower property taxes

Robin Hood is a fairy tale. Steal from the rich; give to the poor. If you remember the story, the “rich” were mean, and the “poor” were nice. Who wouldn’t take from mean people to give to nice people?

Unfortunately, Robin Hood is also how many describe paying for K-12 education in Texas, which is 25% of our entire state budget. While our politicians may live in a fairy tale, the rest of us live in reality. And, the reality is our kids are getting the 40th ranked education in the country. Not acceptable. 

I’ll start paying our teachers like the professionals they are with a $5,000 compensation or tuition reimbursement opportunity.

It starts with the money. Today, we pay for our schools using an algorithm that no one understands. Let’s simplify it. Let’s do it fairly, understanding that kids under the poverty line or with disabilities need extra help.

Let’s take the politics out of this issue, and bring the smartest education, business, and non-profit leaders together, so we can make real progress.

If elected Governor:

  1. I’ll invest in public schools, not voucher programs. 
  2. I’ll build strong pre-K programs to improve graduation rates.
  3. I’ll get serious about vocational training in high school for skilled trades, software programming and engineering.  
  4. I’ll support high-quality teacher training and eliminate high-stakes testing.
  5. I'll fulfill our state's promise to retired teachers by supporting a real cost of living adjustment.
  6. I’ll start paying our teachers like the professionals they are with a $5,000 compensation or tuition reimbursement opportunity.  Better pay. Better teachers. And, that makes smarter kids. 
  7. I'll offer all Texas public high school graduates with a 3.0 or better a $5,000 scholarship to use at any public Texas college or university.  If they become a teacher in Texas, I'll double it to $10,000.

Where does the money come from? I’ll pay for it by closing a $5 billion property tax loophole that mainly benefits out-of-state commercial property owners (Click here to learn more about that), by expanding gaming at horse tracks for $3 billion and by directing $1 billion from border security to education. Gov. Abbott has ignored our schools long enough. I won’t.

Complicated issues need real leaders, not politicians. Leaders who value education over re-election. For me, education is a right, a top priority, worth the investment and starts with great teachers. We need leaders willing to do right and risk the consequences.