Education and Workforce
Public education in Texas is more important than ever. TAB will work to promote quality education across the state, working to raise education standards and align skills to better prepare our children. This ranges from supporting full-day Pre-K programs to increasing rigor in the high school curriculum. TAB will continue to advocate for changes in the educational system to ensure that a greater number of students graduate from high school career or college ready and fully support the 60x30TX plan, in which 60 percent of Texans aged 25 to 34 hold a post-secondary degree or certification by the year 2030. In addition, TAB supports the following education initiatives:
60x30TX Plan. Support an education plan in which 60 percent of Texans between the age of 25 and 34 hold some kind of degree or post-secondary certification by the year 2030.
Academic Excellence. Support excellence initiatives aimed at moving students from minimum expectations to maximum achievement. Support rewarding districts for students who complete more rigorous high school courses.
Accountability. Oppose any measures that weaken the current education accountability system. Oppose any additional monies into education without reform.
Adult Basic Education (ABE). Support ABE that focuses on serving students who will be able to acquire the level of basic skills needed to enter the workforce.
Alternative Certification. Support additional alternative certification programs that provide school districts flexibility in hiring qualified people holding bachelors’ degrees or higher who pass certification exams and any additional teacher training to be determined by a school district.
Alternative Public School Accreditation. Support a voluntary method of accreditation for public schools, by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Arts Education. Support high-quality fine arts education instruction and learning in all schools through the employment of certified arts education teachers and partnerships with community arts organizations. Maintain current fine arts education requirements.
Career and Technology. Support career and technology education in conjunction with public schools and community colleges where appropriate to meet the needs of Texas employers.
Career and Technology Funding. Support legislation that tightens controls on career and technology money allocation. Support requiring districts that receive funding for career and technology to offer courses that prepare students with on-site or virtual on-site training rather than traditional classroom settings. Encourage increased funding for on-line curriculum and on-line testing.
Classroom Size Mandate. Support legislation that creates flexibility for school districts in the requirement that Kindergarten through 4th grade classrooms are comprised of no more than 23 students to one teacher, allowing school districts to use the 23:1 mandate as a district average.
Communities in Schools. Maximize and fund the Communities in Schools program in Texas, a dropout prevention organization that focuses on helping young people to successfully learn, stay in school and prepare for life.
Community Colleges. Support education at the community college level as an important contributor to training students for jobs in the workforce and providing a path for certification.
Computer Science. Support efforts to expand access to computer science and programming skills in Kindergarten through 8th grade and incentivize districts to offer rigorous high school computer science courses. Support efforts to close the critical gap of trained and certified computer science teachers.
Dropout Prevention. Support measures that financially reward campuses for retaining students beyond the ninth grade.
Effectiveness. Support efforts that would specifically include effectiveness as part of the criteria in the evaluation of teachers.
Full-Day Pre-K. Support the funding of full-day Pre-K programs for all school districts for currently eligible students. Support efforts of school districts to provide afterschool care for working parents in the Pre-K programs.
Funding Higher Education. Support legislation funding of Higher Education based on the completion of courses, not based upon classroom attendance on the 12th day of the semester.
GO Centers. Support the continuation of funding for GO Centers that serve as primary points of coordination between the College for Texans campaign (to increase college enrollment) and local communities.
Higher Education System. Support reasonable regulatory and legislative oversight of the Higher Education System, coupled with clear statements of goals, expectations and accountability of results. Support collaborative approaches among Texas’ higher education institutions in research and development funding strategies, technology deployment and distance education in order to avoid duplication and waste and create an affordable environment.
Incentives for Math and Science Teachers. Support teacher advancement initiatives, like differentiated pay, to help alleviate the shortage of math and science teachers in our public schools.
Internships. Support a franchise tax credit or other tax credit for companies offering an internship or apprenticeship for high school students in a recognized Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathway program. Support similar credit for companies offering internships for college students.
Local Control. Support measures that give school districts the flexibility to meet the needs of their students. Support at-will employment for teachers, removing the state from setting the terms and conditions of employment.
Non-Traditional Students. Support measures that encourage non-traditional students to complete their education and obtain valuable workforce skills. Support affordable, flexible pathways and increased financial aid to increase completion rates among this growing student population.
Parent Trigger. Support this innovation in education reform that was recently passed into law in California. With the Parent Trigger, when half of the parents whose children attend a failing public school sign a petition requesting reform of the school, the school must either shut down, become a charter school or undergo one of two other types of reform. The Parent Trigger has the potential to turbo-charge the transformation of education in every state by bringing grassroots regime change to public education.
Parental Involvement. Support measures encouraging parents to become active partners with their children’s teachers and administrators.
Pay for Performance. Support legislation that allows school districts to financially reward campuses that achieve exemplary student performance.
Physical Education. Support recess and other physical activity as part of the school programming to promote health and wellness.
School Choice Pilot Program. Support implementation and evaluation of a well-designed school choice pilot program, allowing students in low-performing or unsafe public schools to attend public or qualified private schools of their choice. The pilot program must be of sufficient magnitude to assess the impact a choice program would have on the students and the public school system.
School Spending. Support legislation requiring more financial transparency in school spending, allowing taxpayers to see how their investment is being managed. Support an audit system for programs’ specific success to ensure funds are spent on the intended programs.
Skills Development Program. Support increased funding for the Skills Development Program administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. Maintain Skills Development Fund grants at the Texas Workforce Commission to improve workforce training.
Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Program. Support efficiency and school choice in public education. Support legislation that would create a grant program that would give parents up to 60 percent of the cost of tuition to be used at a private school. This program will provide parents with more choices in educating their children and produce significant cost-savings to the state, which can be dispersed to other students in the public education system. The grant program will also create competition among the education community.
Tax Incentives. Support legislative tax incentives to encourage business participation in education initiatives.
TEXAS Grants. Support funding levels for TEXAS Grants that would provide scholarships for 100 percent of renewal and initially eligible students.
Texas School Ready!TM. Support high quality Pre-K initiatives and legislation that put children on a pathway toward academic achievement. Programs such as Texas School Ready!TM demonstrate strong accountability that leads to lasting results. TAB believes that these results ensure that children achieve their highest potential and become a successful part of Texas’ workforce in the future.
Technology Workforce Development Grant Program. Support the continuation of funding for the Texas Technology Workforce Development Grant program, which is awarded for computer science and electrical engineering instruction at various institutions of higher education in Texas.