Gov. Perry on Public and Higher Education

Under Gov. Perry’s leadership, more students than ever before have enrolled and graduated from college. Texas has increased educational accountability and raised standards to help students succeed in college while increasing teacher pay.

  • Increased Enrollment. Enrollment has increased every year since 2000 at public and independent institutions of higher education. Today, Texas institutions of higher education enroll more than 207,000 students than they did in 2000.
  • College Prep Mandatory in High School. Texas is the first state to make college preparatory curriculum mandatory in high school to better prepare students for college and compete in a global marketplace. Texas also requires students to complete four years of mathematics, language arts, science and social studies to earn their high school diploma. Following measures passed in the 81st Legislature, students will also be required to take end-of-course exams in core subjects to ensure students graduate college- and career-ready.
  • High Ranking. More Texas students are taking college entrance exams, and graduating from college. While nationally scores on the SAT fell in 2007, Texas students in public and private schools bucked that trend by earning increased scores on the Mathematics and Critical Reading sections of the test.
  • Teacher Pay Raises and Incentives. Texas teacher salaries have increased an average of $14,830 for teachers who have been teaching since 1999. Also, Gov. Perry authorized the largest teacher incentive pay program in the country, $473 million, to reward good teachers for student performance and achievement.
  • Public-Private Venture. Texas launched one of the largest public-private initiatives to help at-risk students achieve their potential. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dell Foundation partnered with the State of Texas to form the Texas High School Project that will use $317 million in private and public dollars to help at-risk students stay in school, graduate and prepare for college.
  • Road to Tier One. Governor Perry and The 81st Legislature gave the leaders of our emerging research universities a clearly-marked path to achieving “tier one,” status and voters approved the measure by passing Proposition 4 in November 2009.
  • Affordable College. Funding for financial aid programs totaled $1.1 billion for the 2010-2011 biennium, nearly 10 times more than the $111.8 million allocated in 1998-1999. As a result, an estimated 95,000 more students will receive state-funded financial aid than in 1999.

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Read Related Press Releases, Blog Posts and News Articles about Gov. Perry's Efforts on Border Security

Statement by Gov. Perry on UT Regent Wallace Hall

08/11/14
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement in support of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall.

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Statement by Gov. Perry on Record High Texas High School Graduation Rates

August 5, 2014
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the latest on-time high school graduation rates released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The class of 2013 earned the highest-ever high school graduation rate for Texas students.

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In-state tuition at all UT campuses to stay the same

05/20/14
Houston Chronicle
Lauren McGaughy
In-state students at the University of Texas system's nine academic campuses will not see their tuitions increase this fall, after the Board of Regents on Tuesday voted for the first time to keep the number flat across all campuses.

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Statement by Gov. Perry on UT Regent Wallace Hall

05/21/14
“Wallace Hall should be commended for his persistence – in the face of overwhelming opposition from bureaucrats – in trying to ensure the institutions of higher education under his purview are operating effectively, efficiently and within the law.

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Gov. Perry Letter to UT Regents Regarding Tuition Increases

This morning Gov. Perry continued his efforts to make college tuition as affordable as possible. Today Gov. Perry sent the following letter to the University of Texas Board of Regents urging them to consider cost-saving measures before imposing tuition increases on students at UT System institutions.

Dear Chairman Foster:

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A $10,000 degree bargain for Texas

02/10/14
Tyler Morning Telegraph
One of the most promising initiatives put forth by outgoing Gov. Rick Perry is the “$10,000 college degree,” a challenge he issued to state universities. A number of universities accepted that challenge, and while it’s still early to evaluate results in Texas, other states are showing that a $10,000 degree is a great option for students.

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Gov. Perry Statement on Chancellor Cigarroa Stepping Down from UT System

02/10/14
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement on Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa stepping down from the University of Texas System:

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ICYMI: Texas Affordable Degree Program Launched

AUSTIN – In response to Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge to Texas institutions of higher education to develop affordable college degree alternatives, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) announced the launch of the Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program. This innovative initiative creates a low-cost, competency-based bachelor’s degree for college students and began last week at South Texas College and Texas A&M University-Commerce, which collaborated with THECB to develop the program.

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Op Ed: Are Perry and UT regents really undermining UT Austin?

May 13, 2013
Houston Chronicle
Red McCombs
I am a UT Austin alumnus and there are few things in life I am more passionate about than my alma mater. Believe me, if I thought there was a systematic effort to hurt the university in any way, I would be a most vocal defender.

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State of the State

Governor Perry delivered his State of the State address this week, proposing to consolidate or suspend non-critical state agencies in order to make state government more streamlined and efficient. The governor also outlined his priorities for the 82nd Legislative Session, including balancing the budget without raising taxes, preserving essential services, and strengthening Texas' position as a national economic leader through sound policies. Check out the Governor's entire State of the State address below.

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