Election 2016

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Texas AFT Endorsementshillaryaft for State/Congressional Races

AFT has Endorsed Hillary Clinton for President

See the AFT National Election Page for more information on how Clinton and Trump stand on education issues.

More Election Info:electiondatesgeneral16

Last spring, we urged you to vote in the Texas primaries and support candidates who would stand up for public education. The outcome was mixed, but we saw significant victories for both Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature who came under attack from well-funded political action committees sharing an agenda of underfunding and privatizing public schools.

It’s time once again to do your homework and be prepared to vote for backers of public education on November 8.  We’ve again included our agenda and that of our opposition in this issue, as well as questions to ask candidates, listed below. You can also take a closer

Texas AFT members also should be on the lookout on the local level for school board races and bond elections in their areas. Check with your local union or ballotpedia.org for local information.

Our Agenda

  • Fully fund public schools
  • Fix school finance
  • Fund universal pre-K
  •  Support neighborhood public schools
  •  Increase oversight of charter schools
  •  Craft new accountability system based on supportive resources instead of “test and punish”
  •  Initiate “Community Schools” to provide support for struggling campuses
  •  Continue secure retirement benefits for school employees with defined-benefit pensions
  •  Make health care affordable
  •  Increase teacher pay and professional standards
  •  Retain voluntary payroll deduction for employee organization dues

Our Opposition

  •  Defund public schools
  • Resist fixing school finance
  • Limit pre-K funding
  • Greatly expand charter schools
  • Promote “charterization,” turning public schools over to charter operators
  • Fund private-school vouchers
  • Continue misuse of testing for “accountability” and teacher evaluations
  • Abolish quality safeguards like class-size limits
  • Convert pensions to unsecure defined-contribution plans
  • Oppose new funding for school employee health care
  • Water down teaching credential requirements
  • Abolish voluntary payroll deduction for employee organization dues

Questions to Ask Candidates 

  • Will you support increased funding for public education and measures to reduce inequities in state funding formulas for public education?
  • Will you support the use of the state’s Rainy Day Fund, projected to have more than $10 billion available for 2017-2018, to help supply the education funding our students needs?
  • Will you support phased, across-the-board increases in teacher pay, and will you support measures to ensure that future statedirected pay raises actually reach teachers and are not undercut or nullified by local salary reductions?
  • Will you support free, full-day public pre-K and kindergarten for all children?
  • Will you oppose deceptively labeled privatization proposals such as the parent trigger, home rule, and achievement districts?
  • Will you support legislation to promote the Community Schools model to help parents, educators, and community partners improve their neighborhood schools?
  • Will you oppose private-school vouchers, also known as “opportunity scholarships?”
  • Will you support a reduction in the classroom time spent on standardized testing and test preparation?
  • Will you support measures to ensure that standardized tests are used to help guide instruction and inform parents and communities, and not for high-stakes decisions regarding students, teachers, and schools—uses for which scores on standardized tests are not valid and reliable?
  • Will you support legislation to repeal the A-F ratings mandate and develop a better accountability and assessment system focused on identifying needs and marshaling support and resources for students at struggling campuses?
  • Will you support a more rigorous process for the initial approval of charter applications, plus stronger state oversight and enforcement of charter schools’ compliance with state quality standards, governance requirements, and financial accountability?
  • Will you support repeal of the recent legislation that authorizes school districts to convert some or all of their campuses to the equivalent of charter schools and that thereby enables them to nullify state Education Code safeguards for teachers, students, and parents?
  • Will you oppose efforts to weaken or dismantle state or local public pension systems—efforts such as converting secure, efficient defined-benefit plans, which guarantee a pension, into 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans, where each employee would bear all the risk for investment returns while being charged high administrative fees? And will you support maintaining the state contribution to TRS at least at the current rate?
  • Will you support significant increases in state contributions toward health insurance for active and retired school employees and funding mechanisms to enable those contributions to adjust for changes in health-care costs?

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