Bill White received the endorsement of the Texas State Teachers Association over the weekend. The 67,000-member group is the oldest education organization in Texas, and is an affiliate of the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.
From the press release by TSTA President, Rita Haecker:
“Education was the first topic Bill White addressed in his speech declaring his candidacy for Governor, and Bill White will put public education front and center when he takes office as Governor of Texas.
“Having been raised by two parents who were schoolteachers, Bill White fully understands the challenges facing Texas teachers.
“Bill White will take steps to increase teacher salaries, aggressively attack the high rate of dropouts, logically address the damaging and degrading accountability system, and advocate for letting teachers teach instead of teaching to the test. Bill White believes in accountability but knows that high-stakes testing is part of the problem, and not a solution.
“Bill White has declared his commitment to putting our educational system under a microscope – not only to identify problems, but also to strategically implement solutions that will finally correct the ills that have plagued our public education system for over a decade.
“In 2008, Texas was 33rd in the country in teacher salaries and 44th in per pupil spending for instruction. Educational outcomes are affected by how much we invest, and we cannot create a first class school system without the resources required to educate a rapidly growing Texas student population.
“Bill White understands that Texas must attract and retain highly qualified teachers to give Texas students the skills needed to compete in the global marketplace. TSTA believes Bill White will usher in a new age of bipartisan educational reform in the State of Texas, and we greatly welcome the opportunity to effect that change alongside our next Governor.”