2019 Legislative Priorities: Invest in Texas Public Schools
Modernize the school finance system to fund Texas schools at a level that meets the needs of our growing and diverse student population.
- Increase the state share of the Foundation School Program to 50%. The decline in state funding over the last decade has left local property taxes to cover the majority of public-school costs.
- Keep public dollars in public schools by opposing taxpayer subsidies to private entities. These include Tax Credit Scholarships, Education Savings Accounts and vouchers for students in special education.
Ensure school and community environments are safe and supportive for all students.
- Invest in mental health resources including ongoing mental and behavioral health support for students.
- Fully fund school safety initiatives with flexibility in how districts utilize these funds to meet the needs of local schools and communities.
- Provide flexibility for teachers and principals to appropriately manage disruptive or dangerous students while meeting their educational needs.
Implement targeted supports to close educational achievement gaps between groups of students.
- Provide formula-funded, voluntary, full-day prekindergarten that furthers the goal of closing gaps in educational proficiency.
- Provide adequate principal and teacher training to address the needs of our most challenging populations.
Establish a comprehensive accountability system that moves beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice exams and instead measures progress of the whole child.
- Remove grade advancement requirements that are tied to standardized assessments in reading and math for grades 5 and 8.
- Limit the number of required assessments to those mandated by the federal government.
Safeguard the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS)
- Preserve the defined benefits plan for retired educators and ensure financial stability of the active and retiree health care systems.
- Increase state funding to assist with increased healthcare costs associated with TRS-ActiveCare and TRS-Care.