District 37 candidates participate in local forum

11 months 6 days 2 hours ago Wednesday, February 23 2022 Feb 23, 2022 February 23, 2022 8:25 AM February 23, 2022 in News - Local

A total of five candidates are running for the District 37 seat.

The seat is up for grabs after state Rep. Alex Dominguez announced he would be running for District 27 in the state senate to replace Eddie Lucio. Four of candidates took part in a forum in Harlingen on Tuesday that focused on local education. 

All of them agreed that teachers as a whole are undervalue

"When it comes to our retirees, they shouldn't be digging for scraps and asking for a 13th check,” candidate Ruben Cortez said. “We need to make a permanent cost-of living adjustment."

Both Cortez and Harlingen City Commissioner Frank Puente were critical of Gov. Abbott’s Operation Lone Star and said that state funding has not been put to effective use.

“I find it interesting that we've spent millions of dollars border walls and DPS out along the border, National Guard — I think some of those funds should be shifted over to our teachers and our administrators,” Puente said.

When questions arose around standardized testing, all members said its something that should be done away with.

"There's many factors that leads to the results that may not be the best result for the students,” candidate Luis Villarreal said. “I think a snapshot of a student's performance over a long period of time would be better if they go to college and they graduate from college."

Palm Valley Mayor George Rivera said the district needs help.

"Without education, without educating our children and our families, we're losing a losing battle,” Rivera said. “We must improve our education system right here, right here in our district."

Republican Janie Lopez was not in attendance at the forum. 

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