Issues

SUPPORTING AND IMPROVING EDUCATION

I am a product of public schools, have two sons who both attended public schools, and believe that a strong educational system is critical for the future of Texas. We must overhaul our flawed “Robin Hood” school finance system and find a long term solution to funding our public schools. We must have more education funding spent in the classroom on teacher pay and in early grades because those are two factors that make an enormous difference in the child’s future academic success.

As I learned from the personal experience with my younger son, who is autistic, parental involvement is incredibly important. Learning begins in the home from birth. It is crucial that our schools encourage parental involvement to improve the outcomes of academic learning as well as healthy behaviors. Education must be a partnership between the parents, teachers, principals, and the school administration. If our children are going to succeed, it is critical to have direct, on-going, loving and supportive parental involvement. By the way, I am a former PTA mom myself!

Raising my autistic son gave me important insight into the challenges faced by parents of special needs students. I will be a champion for those who often get overlooked in our education and social service systems.

MAKING TEACHERS A PRIORITY

We need to better value teachers and their profession. We must pay them adequately, provide them with safe classrooms, remember that teaching is a gift as well as a profession, and free them to use that gift! It is important to seek innovative methods to keep our best teachers in the classroom, such as financial rewards for advanced certifications. Teachers must be empowered to have more control over their classrooms.

Another positive step in retaining teachers is giving them confidence that their retirement future is secure, and that promises made will be promises kept. The Legislature must find more funding to address shortfalls facing both TRS-Care and the TRS pension system.

REDUCING PROPERTY TAXES

The Legislature imposes a “luxury” tax on local property owners. As property values rise and our tax bills along with it, the legislature has the luxury of decreasing its share of the education burden. That’s fundamentally wrong and it needs to change. Local school property tax reductions are linked, in part, to the state doing more to fund public education. I will work with the governor and other state lawmakers to improve our currently flawed Robin Hood system of education funding in Texas. Relying so heavily on property tax funding has placed a very heavy burden on local taxpayers, especially our senior citizens, who are being taxed out of their homes.

CREATING JOBS AND A STRONG TEXAS ECONOMY

I am a small business owner, successful entrepreneur, and owner and manager of five successful businesses ranging from a residential construction company to a furniture licensing business. With that experience, I understand that it’s the private sector – not big government – that drives employment opportunities. I am the only candidate endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business. As the only candidate with a business background, I’ll work to keep taxes low, our regulations reasonable and our civil justice system fair and predictable so Texas can remain the strongest economic and job growth state in America. I support amending the Texas constitution to permanently ban a state income tax.

STOPPING DRUG CARTELS, GANGS AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO ENSURE SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS

We must have stronger border security to reduce illegal activity like drug cartels, gangs, and human trafficking here in Dallas. The faster we can secure our border and stop sending uncertain signals that encourage illegal border crossings, the more quickly we can resolve issues created by waves of illegal border crossings and its unfortunate consequences. I support the ban on sanctuary cities to prevent cities like Dallas from releasing illegal criminal aliens suspected of committing serious crimes.

PRIORITIZING GOOD ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Like any Dallas citizen, I experience the frustration of traffic in the DFW metroplex, and I will work to make sure that District 114 and the Metroplex gets the transportation funding necessary to accommodate our needs. I am thrilled that the LBJ East project made it off the drawing board in May with the blessing of TxDOT, as Lake Highlands has been waiting years to get relief from LBJ traffic. Revamping LBJ/Skillman will be a boon for business with the frontage road changes. More broadly, we have transportation needs all over our state. With Texas adding approximately 400,000 residents per year, and our metropolitan areas and the highways that connect them mushrooming, transportation requires strategic planning to keep pace with population growth and the booming Texas economy.