Election 2024: Vetting Candidates Up and Down the Ballot 

Last week’s edition of the Hotline included the first round of primary endorsements made by Texas AFT COPE (Committee on Political Education). This list of candidates for the U.S. Congress, the Texas Legislature, and the State Board of Education was carefully vetted and approved by our COPE committee, made up of AFT leaders across the state, as these candidates have demonstrated a commitment to fight for thriving public schools. 

But Texas AFT COPE does not endorse in every race that will be on your primary ballot this March. Texas AFT COPE and our union’s political work are funded by the generous donations from members like you and through our online merch store.Our state federation is a careful steward of those dollars, and so we cannot endorse every pro-public education candidate running across the state.  

Additionally, there are many races across the state in which none of the candidates running  fully align with our values and, thus, no candidate has won our endorsement. In these instances, though, of the choices that will be on your ballot, there may still be a candidate more supportive of public education than the others. 

To make informed decisions in races in which there is no Texas AFT COPE-endorsed candidate, we have compiled a list of helpful guiding questions you should ask candidates who want to earn your vote. We encourage Texas AFT members across the state to schedule meetings with the candidates on their ballot, attend their town halls or campaign stops, or simply email the respective campaigns to ask directly. (Some of the answers to these questions may be available on the candidate’s website.) 

Voter Guide: What to Ask Candidates About Texas Public Education 

Do you support a state-mandated, across-the-board raise for teachers? (non-discretionary and must be included as eligible salary for Teacher Retirement System (TRS) calculations)  
Do you support a living wage for all public school employees of at least $15 per hour?   
Will you oppose ALL private-school vouchers in ALL forms, including tuition tax credits, “opportunity” scholarships, and statewide virtual charter schools?  
 Do you support a moratorium on charter schools until their impacts on public schools, students, and taxpayers can be fully assessed?  
Will you oppose any and all efforts to censor local librarians’ ability to provide age-appropriate learning materials to their students? 
Will you oppose ALL efforts to tie teachers’ compensation to their students’ standardized test results and/or unreliable student surveys?  
Will you support legislation to repeal the sanctions in the accountability system that allow the replacement of a democratically elected school board, even when a district has a small number of struggling schools? 
Will you oppose any and all efforts to weaken academic freedom, dismantle tenure, and attack diversity at institutions of higher education?  
Will you work to make sure that retired educators receive a cost-of-living adjustment that is automatically tied to inflation?  
 Will you support granting Texas educators the right to collectively bargain? 
What are your top (3-5) legislative priorities relating to public education? And which organizations will you draw upon as resources to help achieve your top educational priorities? 

Texas AFT COPE Voter Education Hub

Without new leadership that makes public education a real priority, we cannot build the future we want to see: one with public schools funded and supported to thrive. 
Find election information at vote.texasaft.org. 

Texas AFT COPE Endorsements

All endorsements have been recommended by our Texas AFT Committee on Political Education (COPE) and approved by our state federation’s executive council. Texas AFT COPE has released our first round of endorsements for the primary election.

#ThriveTogether: Our Vision for Texas

Our fight to thrive is about creating respectful working conditions with resources to prevent burnout before it starts and a defined workday that doesn’t require us to sacrifice our personal lives for our jobs. Here’s how we can do it.