Nothing can or should be more important than keeping our children safe and providing them with an excellent education. I believe in a strong public education system. My wife and I are both products of public education, as will our young sons. My parents are retired public school teachers. Public education is the main vehicle we have that ensures that this country remains the meritocracy that our forefathers envisioned. Clearly, with a solid education we all have a far better chance to enjoy our constitutional right to pursue happiness.
I am a strong advocate for more choice afforded to parents when it comes to public schools, accountability for teachers, and merit pay for our best teachers. I believe in fewer education mandates from Austin and more local control for individual school districts to educate their students as they see fit.
With more than 1,000 individual school districts in Texas, we have to move from a one size fits all approach to one that grants more flexibility to duly elected school board members so that they can be responsive to their students, teachers and taxpayers. Since K-12 spending makes up the largest piece of the state budget, Texas needs to maintain a system of accountability, but that system needs to be modified and simplified. Those school districts across the state that are successful should be rewarded, not punished. In much the same way, our outstanding teachers should be rewarded for their excellence and those teachers who fail to perform in the classroom should be let go. Likewise, only those ISDs that fail to properly educate our children should face direct state intervention.