Texas AFT endorses Sara Stapleton Barrera for Texas Senate

May 7, 2020

Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343, rdamico@texasaft.org

Stapleton Barrera seeks to oust an incumbent with spotty record on supporting public education and a campaign fueled by ultra-conservative PAC money

Watch union leaders on why Stapleton is the clear choice for supporters of public education.

The Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Sara Stapleton Barrera for Texas Senate this week. Stapleton Barrera is vying for the Democratic nomination in a July 14 primary runoff against incumbent State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. in Senate District 27, which stretches north from the lower Rio Grande Valley to the southern borders of Corpus Christi.

“Stapleton Barrera will be a much-needed, new voice for the Valley and will be a supporter of our true public schools,” said Zeph Capo, Texas AFT president. “Too often the incumbent has walked in lockstep with state leaders like Dan Patrick on an agenda to privatize our public education system, and the Valley needs a leader who isn’t afraid to stand up for our students and teachers.”

Zachary Holzworth, president of Pharr-San Juan-Alamo AFT, stressed that Stapleton Barrera would also better represent the diverse population in the Valley. “She is an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community and in ensuring that all our students get a safe and nurturing environment for learning,” he said.

Sylvia Tanguma, president of McAllen AFT, said her union endorsed Stapleton Barrera to provide leadership in halting the rapid expansion of charter school networks in the Valley. “We don’t need a dual school system with unaccountable and often for-profit schools draining money from true public schools,” she said.

Capo noted that Stapleton Barrera has an ideal background to provide new leadership in the Texas Senate. “As a lawyer and former teacher, Stapleton Barrera is well equipped to go head to head with leadership in the Texas Senate that only gives lip service to supporting public education,” he said. “Meanwhile, her opponent seems poised for the same old modus operandi–representing the interests of ultra-conservative agenda to privatize public education with private-school vouchers. Follow the money fueling the incumbent and you’ll find his coffers full from the infamous Koch brothers, who aren’t shy about their zeal to ‘remake public education,’ meaning starving our public schools to promote charter-school expansion.”

Texas American Federation of Teachers represents some 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and AFL-CIO.