Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DBN Endorses Jack Ternan For Texas Senate District 8

by Michael Handley, Democratic Blog News Managing Editor

Jack Ternan's campaign for Texas Senate District 8 last week released two campaign videos. Jack G. B. Ternan, Jr. is the Democratic candidate for Texas State Senate, District 8.

A native of Plano, Ternan graduated from Plano East Senior High School in 2000. Growing up in Plano and attending public schools, Ternan experienced the fruits of good government: quality public schools, roads, and libraries.

Jack and his wife Ashley reside in Plano with their son Jack III. He is a 2004 graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he received a bachelor’s degree in government and history. In 2007, Ternan received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas.

Ternan practices commercial litigation at the law firm of Bickel & Brewer. He is known for being a strong legal advocate for those affected by the City of Farmers Branch’s anti-immigrant ordinances, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the anti-competitive deal between Southwest and American airlines.  

Democratic Blog News endorses Jack Ternan to represent Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco and parts of North Dallas in the Texas Senate.  Jack knows from personal experience that the parents, teachers, and taxpayers of our community want to do whatever it takes to offer children a high quality education. In fact, Democrats and Republicans largely agree that our local schools would do just fine, if not better, if the state left us alone.

The current school financing methods barely fund present needs and fail to account for growing student populations.  Jack wants to create a stable funding source for school districts in poor areas so that state will stop the "Robin Hood" policy of taking local tax dollars and wasting students’ time with state-mandated standardized testing.

In a fast-moving global economy, we need to train our children to adapt to changing circumstances and to recognize both the limitations and possibilities in front of them. Flexibility and good judgment, not standardization and memorization, should be hallmarks of public education in the 21st century. 

If elected, Jack has committed to:
  1. Revise the school funding formulas to account for today’s costs of education. The state’s education funding formulas were last overhauled in 1991 and fail to reflect current costs.
  2. Provide adequate state funding to poor school districts so that (a) Robin Hood can finally be eliminated and (b) the school districts in Texas Senate District 8 can regain control over their own funds.
  3. Raise additional funds for education by making school funding the top priority, eliminating unnecessary tax breaks (such as the natural-gas tax exemption which costs the state $1 billion a year), and implementing non-tax revenue sources such as a state-owned deposit bank and paid internship programs that provide students with job training and additional revenue for the schools—a win-win for students, schools, and businesses.
  4. End the use of standardized testing to evaluate student and teacher progress in order to allow schools to focus on creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving rather than memorization and test preparation.
  5. Give students, teachers, and parents greater input into how their schools are run by creating campus-level advisory boards.
  6. Measure educational outcomes by collecting data on the job and college success of high school graduates.

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