ATPE Governmental Relations loves the smell of democracy in the morning. For those of you who enjoy controlling your own destiny as much as they do, there’s good news: You have another chance to exercise your right to vote and select who will represent you, your profession and the schoolchildren of Texas in the Texas Legislature. In some races, final results will be determined on runoff election day, May 27—and all of you have a chance to make a difference in at least one race
Employees of Texas’ public schools are facing several near-crisis situations. First, and most importantly, public education funding per student in Texas is among the lowest in the country. A challenge to the system and subsequent court decision found the way the Texas Legislature funds our schools to be unconstitutional. Second, the health care programs for both active and retired employees are severely underfunded, are facing potential dramatic premium increases, and will be redesigned next year. The outcomes
of the upcoming elections will directly determine how our schools are funded
, what your salaries and benefits are
, and what the future of our public education system looks like
Generally, a very small portion of registered voters turn out to vote in a runoff, which makes it even easier for our votes, as supporters of public schools, to make a difference and determine the outcome. Your vote as a supporter of Texas’ public schools will make a difference, but we must educate ourselves and our family and friends on who supports our public schools and educators, and then go vote for them.
If you voted in a primary election in March, you must vote in the same political party’s runoff election
. For instance, if you voted in the Republican primary, you are only allowed to vote in the Republican primary runoff. However, if you did not vote in the primary election at all
, then you are allowed to vote in either party’s primary during the runoff.
The most high-profile race is likely the Republican primary for the office of lieutenant governor, in which Sen. Dan Patrick (R–Houston) is challenging the incumbent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. There are also two State Board of Education races to be determined, as well as thirteen House and Senate races.
to find out which candidates support you as a professional educator and vote accordingly. Early voting begins May 19 and ends May 23. Election day is May 27. Vote education!
Questions? Contact ATPE Governmental Relations.