On the Issues
Education is the most important investment we can make for our future, and it is a fundamental right of all Texans.
- We vigorously oppose voucher schemes that would take money out of our community schools to subsidize private and for-profit institutions.
- Teachers are professionals, and they deserve to be paid like professionals. Many good teachers are lured away to the private sector because of low salaries, and many more never enter a classroom for financial reasons. For this reason, we support raising all teachers’ salaries equally up to the national average, at a minimum. We also support increasing the state’s contributions toward teachers’ retirement benefits and including teachers within the state’s employee health insurance program.
- We support the recruitment of quality teachers and mentors for all students, including those in alternative or disadvantaged schools.
- We support reducing the student to teacher ratio to 22:1 in all grades 4-8 for instruction in reading, English language arts, math, science and social studies in Texas public school classrooms to improve and enhance student learning; as well as ensuring its enforcement According to current, relevant research supported by the National Education Association and 1 the American Federation of Teachers, smaller class size allows for the creation of a more meaningful and manageable classroom, which benefits both teacher and student.
- We strongly support the provision of state formula funding for the fine/performing arts programs in public schools.
- Any single indicator, such as the State of Texas Assessment of Academic of Academic Readiness test should not allowed to determine the educational success or progression of students. Likewise, teachers' and schools' performance should not be based on any single criteria.
- We oppose the incentives compelling schools to reduce student education to spend more time studying for standardized tests.
- Age-appropriate and scientifically accurate sex education - including health, sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives, and pre- and postnatal care - should be implemented. Furthermore, we support school health clinics that serve the basic needs of students including the distribution of and advice on methods of contraception. We support voluntary counseling on different issues concerning sexuality. We encourage state and local governments to implement peer-counseling programs.
- Current educational standards do not reflect the diversity of society. We encourage the implementation of multicultural components in education that reflect a greater accuracy of and acknowledge contributions made by all cultural identities. To that end, we support the increased recruitment of teachers from minority communities.
- We support bilingual education with a progressive use of English throughout a student’s academic career. We also support incentives for teachers to achieve bilingual certification. We support the goal of English-speaking students becoming fluent in other languages, particularly Spanish.
- Dilapidated classrooms impede the educational process. No child should have to spend any portion of a school day in classrooms or in buildings that are not structurally sound and safe. The state should provide needed funding to meet basic infrastructure needs.
- We support efforts to wire every classroom to the Internet and provide the proper education in the usage of computer technology. Such Internet access should be age-appropriate and supervised by teachers to that end.
- We support laws that make our schools safe, gun-free and drug-free.
- All children deserve quality early education in their formative years. We support using state funding to develop public early education programs to give all Texans an “early start” on their educations.
- Recognizing the importance of guidance counselors in the development of every student, we support increasing funding for the hiring and training of more counselors to ensure that all students have access to information regarding scholarships, higher education and vocational training. Furthermore, we recommend that these counselors be, at the very least, trained in adolescent-related counseling pertaining to psychological development.
- We oppose the banning of any constitutionally-protected literature, and recognize any actions thereof as a fundamental violation of free speech.
- We support efforts to provide state funding to pay off portions of teachers’ student loans.
- We oppose efforts by members of the Texas State Board of Education to whitewash and revise history in an effort to impose their personal social and religious agendas on the youth of Texas and, due to the influence that Texas has on the national curriculum market, the United States.We are in favor of teaching an accurate and balanced view of history based on widely accepted standards supported by historians and academic professionals.
- We support the use of a standardized grade scale for all high schools in the state of Texas.
- We support critical thinking to be taught in schools.
- We support casino gambling in the State of Texas for education funding.
- We support vocational training in high schools.