Master of Science in Management and Administrative Sciences from UTD
The newly established Texas Commission on Public School Finance is undertaking a bottoms-up review. In any case, it is well understood that formula funding needs a complete revamp.
On the cost side we must make public education more efficient. We can do so over time through transitioning to standardized online resources. It is alarming that we are still so reliant on textbooks. I am honored that the Texas Computer Education Association awarded me as a Digital Champion. At the same time, we need to reduce bureaucratic cost drivers that divert from the educational mission.
It is important to note that the formal title for the “Rainy Day Fund” is the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). The fund, for perspective is around $10 B, the highest in the nation. Its original purpose was to fund tax shortfalls in down economic cycles. That said, my view is that ESF generally should be used for extraordinary rather than ongoing expenses. The uses and investment strategy of the ESF requires ongoing review in conjunction with its balance.
One of the most immediate ways we can help solve this problem is by enforcing laws that have been on the books for years. Congress should pass their “National Instant Criminal Background Check” (NICS) legislation and fix the system to improve and incentivize compliance.
Regarding school shootings, one important preemptive recommendation involves formalizing local school threat assessment teams to identify and arrange treatment for troubled students, but more must be done. Legislative committees are now deliberating many potential new policies to determine what statewide standards are appropriate.
Mindful of statewide prioritization, we must consider effective and efficient options to increase capacity. I am encouraged by the recent resolution for 635-East; however, North Texans demand and deserve better transportation infrastructure and the resources to fund it. The additional $2.5 billion in annual highway funding from Prop. 7 is helpful, but I will continue to push for greater allocations to our region’s roads and highways so our residents can get where they’re headed swiftly and safely.
Spiraling Medicaid costs should get more attention. Fortunately, the new administration has signaled willingness to allow more latitude for the states in determining eligibility and benefits.
I chair the Economic and Small Business Development Committee, and sit on the Higher Education Committee. The Economic Development Committee will study a number of charges during this legislative interim. One looks at closing gaps in workforce readiness, and others similarly relate to ensuring that we stay ahead of the curve in economic competitiveness.
I welcome hearing your thoughts on the pressing issues.
B.A. in Sociology
J.D. in Law
Both from University of Oklahoma
We need to restore the $5 billion that was previously cut from the budget for public education. We need to close corporate tax loopholes to make sure we adequately fund public education. We must stop trying to divert resources from the public schools with vouchers. Additionally, we need to restore the goal of education, support our teachers’ salaries, secure their pensions, and stop focusing on high stakes standardized testing.
The Rainy Fund should be reserved for disaster relief and emergency situations which affect the actual life of Texans.
Several actions should be taken to address gun violence.
1) Universal background checks
2) Set the age of being legally able to possess a firearm to 21 (with the exception of two barrel rifles for game hunting)
3) Red Flag law that would provide a legal mechanism to remove firearms from the mentally unstable
4) Requiring firearm relinquishment from those convicted of domestic violence or subject to a domestic abuse TRO
The gas tax has not been raised since 1991. We need to raise it by .05 cents. I support toll lanes as an express option to existing roadways (635 Express in Dallas for example). I do not support toll only roadways.
Human trafficking victims have a common history of early CPS incidents combined with truancy and runaway incidents. Yet currently there is no system that allows any of the agencies involved to see each other's information to potentially identify a high-risk victim. If elected as State Representative for District 112, I want to mandate a statewide system to allow each organization to retrieve data available to identify high-risk victims, allowing for intervention not possible today.