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Taxpayer Dollars Returned

Representative Bennett Ratliff, fiscal conservative and small business owner, announced he is returning a budget surplus back to the taxpayers of the State of Texas.  During his tenure in the House of Representatives serving District 115 he has consistently brought his monthly office holder expenses in under budget.

Ratliff said, “Being a good steward of taxpayer’s money is a high priority to me.  As a small business owner we operate on a tight budget and have been conservative with our expenses for years, I applied the same principles to my state office. It’s easy to say you are a fiscal conservative, I believe that actions speak louder than words.”

Because of his fiscally conservative spending, Representative Ratliff will be able to return over $36,000 to the state budget and Texas taxpayers at the end of his term in January 2015.

Creating Jobs in District 115

Congratulations to Brookhaven College for receiving a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission Skills Development Fund. It’s easy to talk about creating jobs and growing the economy, but rarely do we get to see it in action. As a member of the Appropriations Committee that approved the funding for this program it’s gratifying to see our work in the Legislature producing results in our community. Thanks to International Flavors and Fragrances for being part of this program and creating new and improved jobs for NW Dallas County.
http://www.brookhavencollege.edu/asp/news/2014/2451.aspxTWC

A New Entitlement Program in Texas?

As published by  the Texas Tribune in Trib Talk

What if I told you there’s a growing group of candidates, legislators, lobbyists and political activists who are proposing a new entitlement program that could cost Texans up to $5 billion per year over the next 10 years?

Under the proposed program, each eligible recipient would receive thousands of dollars annually, and by federal law we couldn’t even ask if they’re legal citizens. Once in the program, they could receive the benefits for 13 or more years.

You might say that this couldn’t be possible because conservative Republicans run our state, right?

Wrong. Because, as they say, money talks.

Well-funded special interests are vigorously pushing to take away funding from your public schools to pay for their religious schools, chains of for-profit private and virtual schools, and elite private academies.

Political action committees are giving millions of dollars to selected Texas candidates in exchange for pledges of support for education privatization schemes. They seek to funnel your tax dollars to for-profit and religious schools that have been around for years and chains of new schools that will spring up in communities considered good “markets.” The proposals would prohibit asking how these private interests are going to spend the billions of tax dollars, would not require any reporting of academic test results, and would not provide any accountability or transparency to taxpayers.

Lobbyists and special interest groups seeking the privatization of our public schools are already writing op-ed pieces and blogging misleading statistics about public schools in Texas. They use data that is 10 years old, reports from the Chicago and Washington, D.C., school systems, and carefully scrubbed statistics to mislead the public. They want to scare you into believing that our neighborhood schools are teaching controversial and un-American curriculum designed to brainwash our children, yet their proposals would allow the teaching of Common Core and other unapproved curriculum without state oversight.

But Texans know better, parents know better, students know better, and the business community knows better.

Texas’ high school graduation rates are at an all-time high and rank near the top nationally (second only to Iowa), we’re setting the pace on standardized test scores, and the choices and opportunities that we’re providing to our students are so broad that school districts are holding parent-training sessions to help them choose what’s best for their child.

Even Chuck DeVore, vice president of policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, which has embraced “school choice” policies, wrote in his 2013 book, The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America, that based on recent standardized test scores, Texas is “first in six of nine categories and second in another. … This stands in stark contrast to the myriad critics who keep repeating, falsely, that Texas’ educational system is horrific and failing.”

Texas parents can choose from over 8,000 public schools, more than 550 charter schools, magnet schools, open-enrollment campuses, dual-credit programs, early-college high schools and many others. In addition, roughly 400,000 students were eligible for a Public Education Grant last year to transfer out of their low-performing schools — all at no cost to the parents, and all accountable and transparent to taxpayers.

And all this despite a reduction in funding for our public schools of about $1.75 billion over the last five years and an enrollment increase of over 400,000 students.

So with election season upon us, the voters of Texas must ask their elected officials and candidates whether they support the creation of a new $5 billion private school entitlement — or whether they’ll stand with taxpayers and demand accountability and transparency for our public school dollars. As for me, I stand with the students, parents and taxpayers of Texas in support of our public and charter schools.

http://www.tribtalk.org/2014/08/28/a-new-entitlement-program-in-texas/

Ratliff named Honorary Life Member of Texas PTA

The Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD Council of PTA’s has honored Rep. Ratliff with one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by the Texas PTA, an Honorary Life Membership, for his outstanding service to children and youth.  The PTA recognized Rep. Ratliff for his service as a school volunteer, business mentor, school board trustee and state representative with a 20 year record of commitment to public schools. “I am truly humbled to be presented this honor and thank the hard working members of the PTA for their service to our children and the future of Texas” said Rep. Ratliff, “and I look forward to working with you for many years to come to continue to make our public schools great.”

Ratliff speaks to students

This spring, Representative Ratliff has been honored to have the opportunity to speak to students about Texas government, current political issues and the importance of voting.  Dr. Parker Hevron, Political Science Professor at TWU, invited Rep. Ratliff to talk about elections and current political issues in Texas with his undergraduate political science students, and Marisa Garza, a senior at New Tech High School in Coppell ISD, invited Rep. Ratliff to speak to graduating seniors about the importance of voting as part of her graduation capstone project.  ”I’m always honored to speak to students about the Texas Legislative process and their duty to express their opinion on election day” said Rep. Ratliff.  If your class would like to have Rep. Ratliff speak to you about the Texas Legislature, please contact us.

Ratliff serves as Honorary Mathcounts Chairman

Rep. Ratliff was named the Honorary Chairman of the State Mathcounts competition in Austin on March 22, 2014.  Mathcounts is a nationwide program that promotes math excellence for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and combines the efforts of the education, business, government and the technological communities. It is a math skills coaching program based on higher thinking skills development with a series of progressive competitions at local, state and national levels. It motivates students to do well in math and recognizes and rewards them for achievement. The program also gives the math teachers an incentive to excel in their classrooms.

Rep. Ratliff said “I am proud to be involved in the Mathcounts program to encourage and recognize great students to excel in math skills that will serve them well in their future.  The teachers and coaches of the teams do an exceptional job preparing their students, the ‘mathletes’, for the competition and for success in STEM classes. I was honored to be involved in the competition and recognize the winners.”

Ratliff receives Distinguished Engineering Award

Rep. Bennett Ratliff, P.E. has been named as 2013 Distinguished Engineer by the Texas Engineering Foundation of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers in Recognition of his distinguished service to the Engineering Profession.  Rep. Ratliff stated “I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers in the engineering profession for this prestigious honor”.

Ratliff honored as “Crime Fighter of the Year”

The North Texas Crime Commission has honored Representative Bennett Ratliff with the “Crime Fighter of the Year” Award for his work in the 83rd Legislative Session.  Rep. Ratliff thanks the law enforcement community for this honor and for their service to protect and serve the citizens of Texas.

“Representative Ratliff a Champion of Texas Manufacturing”

“Manufacturing is a driving engine of the Texas economy and we proudly support candidates who consistently work to keep manufacturing in Texas strong,” said Tony Bennett, President of the Texas Association of Manufacturers. “Representative Ratliff has been tireless in his efforts to advance a strong manufacturing climate in Texas and he’s the right choice for his district.”

 

Ratliff Recognized with First Session Awards

Best of Dallas Area Freshmen in the Texas House - Dallas Morning News

Top 10 Most Influential Freshmen - Capitol Inside

Freshman Most Likely to Succeed - Texas Monthly

Champion for Free Enterprise - Texas Association of Business

Legislative Honor Roll - Texas PTA

Lone Star Conservative Leader - Texas Conservative Roundtable

Legislative “Champion” - Texas Retired Teachers Association

“A” Rated Conservative - Texas Future Business Alliance

Nominated for “Texan of the Year in Education” - Dallas Morning News

Ratliff Named “A” Rated Conservative by Texas Future Business Alliance

“Texas is a great place to live, work, and raise a family because our elected officials have made tough decisions over the years – decisions about our education, business, and economic infrastructure.

We recognize your State Representative BENNETT RATLIFF, for his work during the 83rd Legislative Session supporting the important issues which will continue to drive Texas’ unprecedented record of success.”

TEXAS FUTURE BUSINESS ALLIANCE

Texas PTA Names Ratliff to Legislative Honor Roll

Austin, Texas – Today members of Texas PTA named Representative Bennett Ratliff to PTA’s Legislative Honor Roll for his work during the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

 In Rep. Ratliff’s first session in the Texas House he made a mark, serving on both House Appropriations and House Public Education Committees, two very prestigious committees. Rep. Ratliff filed legislation to reform assessment in 3rd – 8th grades, legislation to further direct the activities of the High Performance Schools Consortium, to identify developmentally appropriate assessment tools for kindergarteners, and several pieces of legislation to address various issues for students with disabilities including allowing for the creation of up to 5 charter schools for students with specific disabilities, and adding a public school option for parents, all thoughtful and considered pieces of public policy.

 “Rep. Ratliff was well-prepared for his first session, asking relevant questions, engaging in meaningful debate, and filing thoughtful legislation. He contributed thoughtfully to the debate in the House Education Committee. His role as part of the House Floor Team when HB 5 was debated was crucial to its success. Texas PTA looks forward to working with him in the years to come,” stated Diane Dobis, PTA Council President of Carrollton Farmers Branch Independent School District.

Ratliff named “Champion for Free Enterprise”

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Rep. Bennett Ratliff received the highest honor given by the Texas Association of Business by being named a Champion for Free Enterprise for his strong conservative voting record to protect small businesses in the State of Texas and continue to grow the Texas economy.

“Voting for the interests of Texas businesses helps everyone,” said TAB President and CEO Bill Hammond.  “It means our economy will continue to grow and our employment picture will continue to improve.  We may still face tough economic times in the future because of federal policies, but at least we will maintain a leg up in Texas because of the actions of our pro-business Legislature and our pro-business state leadership.”

Ratliff Nominated for Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year in Education

Who’s the DMN Texan of the Year in public education area?

“Who, from the education realm, ought to be the DMN Texan of the Year? Shouldn’t we go out of our way to look for people with the magic to change lives in the classroom? With a wide view of public ed and those who’ve had impact, here are some ideas to chew on for this year…

Rep. Bennett Ratliff, of Coppell, who tried to tame the testing beast even further with HB 2836, which passed overwhelmingly but was vetoed by Gov. Perry.”

Rodger Jones, Dallas Morning News

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Ratliff Named “Champion” by Retired Teachers

Representative Ratliff is proud to be recognized by the TRTA (Texas Retired Teachers Association) for his work this session. He is one of only 19 Legislators in the Texas House and Senate to receive the TRTA Champion Award.

“I’m committed to supporting our public education system and our teachers in order to provide for a bright future for all Texans!”