Whether it’s in Washington or Austin, policymakers are treating our children as an afterthought rather than as an investment.
Investing in Texas children – our next generation of thinkers, workers, and leaders – is one of the most important responsibilities for policymakers. We must ensure our children have the tools, training, and opportunities they need to succeed in a rapidly changing and competitive world.
However, when policymakers like State Representative Matt Rinaldi (R – Irving) receive contributions from special interest groups; he supports their views rather than all Texas children. Rinaldi claims to be “proud of [his] record of supporting education,” but it’s campaign rhetoric which fails to match the reality of his legislative votes.
Less than five years in the Texas Legislature and Matt Rinaldi has opposed numerous bills and amendments for public education:
- Rinaldi voted for the state budget, which cuts education funding.
- Two amendments in SB 1, which fought to prevent state and public funds to pay for private school vouchers were opposed by Matt Rinaldi.
- Rinaldi voted against a billion dollar budget increase to public school funding to increase basic and bilingual allotments, new allotments for dyslexic students, and provide grants to districts losing money due to the expiration of Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR).
- He opposed the use of the state’s rainy day fund to shore up the education budget. Rinaldi also opposed motions.
- Once again, Matt Rinaldi voted to keep private school voucher language in the school finance budget and preserve state-funded private school vouchers for students with special needs.
- Rinaldi voted for a study by the state school finance commission to decide if educators should continue to have access to payroll deduction for their voluntary association dues.
- “David’s Law” addressed the problem of cyberbullying at school, but Matt Rinaldi voted against it.
- Matt Rinaldi voted twice against improving educator qualities, which provide mentorship programs and prohibit assigning core subjects to inexperienced teachers.
- HB 2186 helped reduce the epidemic of suicide amongst youth by training educators to spot and respond to the warning signs of suicide. Rinaldi was among the three who opposed this suicide prevention legislation.
- Rinaldi opposed bipartisan legislation to fund expanded pre-kindergarten in Texas. And amendment 12 about limiting class size to no more than 18 students per educator.
- HB 1798 – Rinaldi voted to make it easier for public school districts to be converted to deregulated home rule charter districts. No longer requiring districts to maintain salary and employment protection for educators, comply with regulations, or held accountable to local voters.
Matt Rinaldi’s repeatedly voted to undercut, not support the educational system, but his votes against children didn’t stop there. He’s also received money from anti-science group, Texans for Vaccine Choice which supports an agenda which risks public health; and voted against helping protect homeless children who are most vulnerable to sex trafficking. Rinaldi also opposed common-sense legislation to prohibit texting while driving and seat belt legislation to ensure the safe transportation of Texas school children to and from school.
Matt Rinaldi says “our children deserve better,” and he’s right. We need Texas policymakers to take responsibility for educating and protecting Texas children, and stop protecting corporate special interests. We need to Reform Austin.