As adopted by the TCTA Representative Assembly June 2014.
Oppose harmful reforms leading to loss of legal protections for teachers, students and parents
Texas educators, students and parents are given basic legal protections in state law. These include minimum salaries and contractual/due process provisions (which ensure stability both for school districts and teachers), class-size caps and disciplinary statutes that ensure safe classrooms conducive to learning, and laws ensuring access and transparency for parents. Erosion of these protections would be damaging to the public schools and to the state.
Continue to reduce high-stakes testing
Standardized assessments should be used as diagnostic tools to help educators provide individualized instruction to students. The number of tests in elementary and middle school, as well as benchmark testing and other excessive preparation, should be reduced.
Restrict use of tests to their validated purposes
Student test performance and value-added measures should not be used for educator evaluation, compensation, and employment decisions in light of the significant and growing body of research indicating these uses are not valid or reliable.
Seek appropriate state funding for public education
Funding to ensure attraction and retention of highly-qualified educators, rigorous training and quality instructional materials is essential to meet the increasing academic goals set for Texas schoolchildren.
Improve support for instructional personnel
Texas educators and support staff need high-quality professional development opportunities, support from administrators, and appropriate working conditions.
Preserve and expand teacher disciplinary authority
Teachers must be able to maintain an academic environment conducive to learning and keeping our children safe. Current laws that allow teachers to remove disruptive students must not be restricted, and school campuses should be required to have discipline policies in place that will allow teachers to focus on the business of educating their students.
Maintain benefits for school personnel
State contributions to the retirement fund must be maintained or enhanced, and the current structure of the retirement system retained, so that educators and other school employees are provided a measure of financial security after years of service to the state. Funding for the active and retired employee health insurance programs must be increased to make health care affordable.
Protect class sizes
Any further weakening of class-size statutes will endanger the quality of education we provide to Texas schoolchildren, particularly given the continually increasing demands placed on both teachers and students.
Oppose unchecked charter expansion
While Texas can boast a number of high-performing charter schools, disproportional numbers of charter schools are under-performing, even with the benefit of a relaxed accountability system. The cap on charters in Texas should not be expanded until better systems are implemented to ensure educational and financial quality control in open enrollment charter schools.
Oppose voucher efforts
Lawmakers should focus on providing adequate resources to the public school system. No law should be passed that uses public funds to support private schools, whether through vouchers, tax credits or other means.