During my years as an educator, I have met some of the most talented, dedicated, and loving people of my life. Most teachers I know get to work two hours early to make sure the day’s lessons will go just right or to help students catch up when they’ve missed assignments. They stay at school hours after the last bell rings to tutor, attend meetings or professional development, grade papers, or plan lessons. When they go home, they take care of their own families, they often get back to work after tucking their own children into bed, and they finally go to sleep worrying about their students and thinking about how to tweak the next day’s lesson to be more engaging. Teaching is difficult but rewarding work, and it seems like every year our jobs get more difficult as we are asked to get better results from our students with less time and resources to do so.
Public education is underfunded, understaffed, and generally misunderstood by the people who make the policies regarding education. Years ago I saw a button that perfectly sums it up: “Those who can, teach. Those who cannot, pass laws about teaching.” I want to do my part to change all of that.
Students and teachers need policies that will encourage better educational experiences through smaller class sizes, more time for teacher planning and collaboration, elimination of high-stakes testing that makes testing companies rich and disheartens struggling students, and attractive teacher salaries that will entice our best and brightest to leave the private sector to educate and inspire the next generation. I am a firm believer that quality public education improves the lives of all students who have access to it.
I was fortunate enough to attend TCU during a time when my family could afford to send me there without taking out loans. Today, most families that I speak to cannot fathom how they will pay for their children to go to a public university. The average cost for a resident student at UT Arlington now costs far more than it cost for me to attend TCU in the late 90s. The cost to attend TCU is now approaching $60,000 a year. I love my alma mater and it saddens me that I can’t encourage my children to be Horned Frogs themselves.
We cannot accept a situation where an entire generation will be priced out of college education. The hardworking parents of America sacrifice so much for their children to have a better life yet they cannot afford to send their children to college at current tuition levels. As your representative, I will work for the people by pushing for free public college education for all students. The wealthiest nation in the world can afford to invest in the education of its people. We simply need to make the decision to prioritize the needs of the people over the greed of the corporations.