Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

Texas State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio) is the Texas Classroom Teachers Association’s 2012-13 Friend of Education in the public official category.  

The Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle recently named him one of the “20 Latino political rising stars of 2012,” placing him among those under 55, “who just might change the face of American politics over the next two decades.” Campaigns and Elections magazine named him a “Texas Influencer” and one of the Top 50 Democrats in the state.

Martinez Fischer was selected for TCTA’s Friend of Education Award primarily for his efforts on behalf of teachers in the 2011 legislative session. Although not a member of the House Public Education Committee, he was heavily involved in that session’s public education battles. As chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, he led the Democratic opposition to House Bill 400, Senate Bill 8 and other legislation harmful to public schools and teacher rights and benefits. Texas Monthly recognized his parliamentary tactics by naming him the “Bull of the Brazos” for his relentless use of points of order to defeat legislation.

Martinez Fischer, who has represented Texas House District 116 since 2001, used his knowledge of House rules to coordinate the numerous points of order that eventually killed HB 400 in the regular session. He can be credited with saving the state minimum salary schedule and K-4 class-size caps, issues that were not included in SB 8 (essentially the Senate version of HB 400) that passed during the special session.

TCTA recognized Martinez Fischer as a “Legislative Star” in our fall 2011 issue of The Classroom Teacher for his persistent efforts to kill these deregulation bills that would have permitted reduction of teacher salaries and legal protections. The bills were so hard to kill and were revived so many times that they were compared at times to zombies, vampires and other monstrous beings.

The Friend of Education awards have been presented since 1976, with winners selected by the TCTA Legislation Committee. The awards are given in two categories, public official and private citizen, to honor those who have made a significant contribution to public education in Texas. Recipients must be judged to be true friends of education, educators and students as demonstrated by their leadership, actions and support.

Martinez Fischer was honored Friday, Jan. 25, during the first business meeting of the TCTA Representative Assembly during the 2013 TCTA Convention. Watch video of his acceptance speech and remarks to the TCTA delegates.

See a complete list of TCTA's 2012-13 award winners.