ANN JOHNSON KNOWS THAT SHORTCHANGING OUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION IS JEOPARDIZING TEXAS' ECONOMIC FUTURE.
"The Texas I grew up in always fought to lead our nation, not settle for being last." -- Ann Johnson
Fighting to Take Texas from Worst to First
Currently, Texas ranks dead last in adults with a high school diploma, 45th in SAT scores and 43rd in high school graduation rates -- and that was before our legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education.
As an educator and the daughter of a former teacher and college instructor, Ann Johnson has a passion for our public schools and won't stop fighting for Texas children until we fix our broken education system.
In her work as an attorney who represents children, Ann has seen firsthand just how damaging the lack of quality education is to Texas' youth. Her experience is confirmed by research that shows that strong early education programs result in lower drug use, higher graduation rates, fewer families receiving public assistance, and reduced crime.
Without new leadership in Austin that makes education a top priority, the next generation of Texans is likely to be less educated, less employable and less prosperous than we are.
Ann's opponent voted for last year's $5.4 billion cut to public education. She even voted for the original bill that would have cut $10.5 billion! Under her watch, each child has lost $500.00 in education resources, leading to fewer teachers, larger class sizes and lost curriculum.
Ann will fight in the Texas legislature for the resources and reforms we need to invest in our children's education and start governing smarter, including:
+ Using the Rainy Day Fund -- Texas' Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund, was created to save money in good times that we can use in tough times to preserve essential priorities. Ann believes that public education in Texas is our top priority -- and that using the fund to avoid devastating cuts to education is sound public policy.
+ Reforming the STAAR test -- Our over-reliance on the STARR test, a high-stakes accountability test for students, is crowding out other important components of a quality education -- especially in the face of massive cuts to public education that have increased class sizes and cut teachers. Standardized tests have an important role to play in education, but our teachers should be given more time to teach a curriculum that prepares our students for college or careers, not to pass a diagnostic test.
+ Keeping classroom sizes capped -- Currently, our system allows schools to surpass the 22:1 ratio of students to teachers in the classroom. Children that are placed in crowded classrooms receive less one-on-one time and less individualized instruction from teachers -- and study after study shows that impacts student performance. Studies have also shown that students who have the benefit of smaller classes often have a greater likelihood of attending college and a higher earning potential in adulthood. Last session, Ann's opponent voted to increase classroom sizes.
+ Restore full day Pre-K grants -- Last session, the Texas legislature cut $104 million from full-day Pre-K. Yet recent studies have shown that every dollar invested in early education can produce up to an $11 economic benefit in return. And children who get a strong start achieve higher graduation rates, better grades, more college enrollment and higher earnings than those who did not have preschool.