What are the duties of the State Board of Education?
- Establish policy and provide leadership for the Texas public school system
- Set standards for educational programs
- Provide the direction necessary to enable Texas public schools to prepare today’s school children for a successful future
- Review and adopt instructional materials based on curriculum standards
- Designate and mandate instruction in the knowledge and skills that are essential to a well-balanced curriculum
- Oversee the investment of the Permanent School Fund
- Approve the creation of charter schools
Adopt regulations and standards for the operation of adult education programs provided by public school districts, junior colleges and universities
What are Tom's views on the duties of the State Board of Education?
- Protecting the Permanent School Fund: The $25 billion Permanent School Fund is an endowment to ensure that schools have textbooks and educational materials. We must never take unnecessary risks, yet maximize our return on investment. We must also protect the fund’s principle from those who would seek to raid it for other purposes.
- Local Control: Ronald Reagan once stated, “…[E]ducation is the bulwark of freedom, but removed too far from the control of parents and local government, it can become a tool of tyranny.” Our schools need to be community schools, responsive to local conditions and input from parents and stakeholders. Set the target; don’t micromanage the means. I have been in large urban and suburban campuses and rural schools. Top-down, big-government, one-size-fits-all solutions are usually not solutions at all.
- Parental Rights: Freda, my wife, and I have shepherded four children through Texas schools. Our schools are a tool for parents to educate their children with the knowledge and skills to further their education in higher learning and technical schools, succeed in a competitive economy and to be effective, contributing citizens. Respecting parental prerogatives must remain as a centerpiece of education policy. Our children belong to us.
- Fiscal Discipline and Transparency: As a teacher, I often made due with a little less. As a school board trustee, I often faced the prospect of putting a five-dollar bill where a 10 or 20 dollar bill should have gone. As a member of the State Board of Education I will fight unfunded mandates. I will advocate leveraging technology and all other means to achieve new efficiencies and funnel more funds to the classroom.
- Accountability: District and campus decisions are driven by funding and standardized testing—the targets the state has created. My own children's future was advanced by their mastery of core subjects but was also shaped by their achievements in leadership development and service, fine arts, career and technical education and athletics.
- Preparing Students for Tomorrows Careers: Many of the jobs that exist today didn’t exist a few years ago. We are preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist. I support a rigorous career and technical education system that both empowers students with foundational technical and employability skills and supports the core curriculum.
Where is District 10?