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

A $10,000 degree bargain for Texas


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


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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The Art of Economic Development

According to Governor Perry, "The Texas arts industry plays an important role in generating and sustaining economic success. They contribute to and express our state’s intriguing culture and heritage. They personify and instill the unique pride common to all Texans, and help cultivate a way of life unlike any other place in the nation."

The video below reveals how the arts community continues to encourage economic growth in a variety of Texas towns, including Amarillo.

Visit the full Texas Tribune article to learn more about other Texas cities featured in "The Art of Economic Development".

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Former President George H.W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush Endorse Gov. Perry for Re-election

October 25, 2010

Join over 100 groups in supporting Gov. Perry for re-election

HOUSTON – Today Gov. Rick Perry received the endorsement of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush for the general election. They were joined by representatives from more than 100 organizations and hundreds of leaders who have endorsed Gov. Perry’s re-election, highlighting his diverse, statewide support, which represents millions of Texans.

“Gov. Perry’s leadership and proven track record is an essential component in keeping Texas a national leader in job creation,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “Texas has become a prime example of what happens when you mix fiscal responsibility, strong leadership and a vision of moving a state forward. It is an honor to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for the general election.”

George H.W. Bush was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1989 and served until January 1993. During his term in office, the Cold War ended; the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced; the Soviet Union ceased to exist, replaced by a democratic Russia with the Baltic States becoming free; the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunified with Eastern Europe; and he put together an unprecedented international coalition to liberate Kuwait.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush is a tireless advocate of volunteerism, helping countless charities and humanitarian causes. Today she and President Bush serve as Co-Chairs of C-Change, an organization that represents more than 150 individuals and groups that fight cancer. She also enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation.
“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush,” said Gov. Perry. “His devotion and leadership, to our country, has brought forth inspiration to us all.”

Gov. Perry’s endorsements highlight the broad-based support he has from diverse groups and industries, ranging from agriculture, health care and retail sales, to construction, law enforcement and education.

In his remarks, Gov. Perry emphasized the creation of 850,000 Texas jobs in the last ten years and the recent drop in the unemployment rate in Texas; leaving the national rate nearly two points above ours. He also touted our state’s low taxes, predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and education efforts as crucial elements that have helped make it a national leader in exports and Fortune 1000 companies.

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Brand New TV Ad: Right Track

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second TV ad this week called “Right Track.”

Did you know that Texas is where 4 out of 5 new private sector jobs have been created since 2005? For more info, check out the “Right Track video on Governor Perry's YouTube page.”

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry. Early voting begins on Monday, October 18th!

Join us today, and help us keep our strong momentum going.

On Twitter? Follow @GovernorPerry for updates from Rick Perry himself, @GovPerry2010 for updates from the campaign, and become a fan of Governor Perry on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest campaign news.

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NEW VIDEO: "Texas"

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second ad this week called “Texas.”

The spot highlights Governor Perry's positive message about Texas.

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry.

As the Governor continues traveling all around the state, meeting with Texans from all walks of life, our campaign continues to gain strength. Your enthusiasm and energy is contagious. Join us today, and help us keep the momentum going.

On Twitter? Follow @GovernorPerry for updates from Rick Perry himself, @GovPerry2010 for updates from the campaign, and become a fan of Governor Perry on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest campaign news.

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Uphold Texas' prerogatives in public education

September 30, 2010

Austin American Statesman

Reps. Leo Berman; Wayne Christian; Rob Eissler; Dan Flynn; Kelly Hancock; Phil King; Tan Parker; and Ken Paxton

As state legislators, we are disappointed that Texas schools will miss out on $830 million in federal funding because of an overt political attempt to embarrass the Texas Legislature and the governor in the form of an amendment inserted into federal law by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin. The Doggett amendment requires the State of Texas to maintain education funding at current levels for each of the next three budget years 2011, 2012 and 2013 to receive the federal dollars under the emergency school aid funding authorized by Congress last month.

The language added by Doggett required the governor to guarantee these levels of funding when he applied for the federal education aid. However, since the Legislature writes the state budget every two years, Gov. Rick Perry was unable to make that guarantee, noting that "surely Congress did not intend to require states to violate their own constitutions and statutes in order for schools to receive this money. I am sworn to uphold state laws and our constitution, which prohibit binding commitments about future budgets or funding levels."

Texas' state budget for 2012 and 2013 will be drafted and voted on by legislators when we convene in Austin in 2011. Perry clearly is unable to guarantee to the federal government that the 82nd Legislature will appropriate certain, specific levels of funding to public education in good faith because the governor does not write the state budget and, in any event, the 2012-13 state budget does not yet exist.

However, Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott wrote the U.S. Department of Education confirming that Texas would be able to "legally make the assurances you are requiring" once the 2012-2013 state budget is enacted next year. Despite those facts and assurances, Texas' application for the federal funding was rejected by the U.S. Department of Education.

Doggett's amendment language imposed requirements on Texas that do not apply to other states. The other 49 states, for example, are only required to guarantee their education funding level for 2011. Singling Texas out for special (and more prohibitive) treatment does not serve the best interests of our students, teachers or schools. It is precisely this type of gross over-reach that has spurred the tea party movement and has driven congressional approval ratings close to an all-time low.

Top Republican leaders are united in their opposition to the Doggett amendment. In addition, Texas' U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have announced their intention to file legislation overturning the amendment.

Together with our colleagues in the Legislature and Perry, we have a strong record of providing increased funding and other necessary resources to the public school system in Texas. Between 2000 and 2009, state spending on public education increased from $11 billion to $20 billion, an increase that underscores our commitment to public education. It is noteworthy that it was achieved without the federal government attempting to bribe the state to increase its public education appropriations.

The amendment language added by Doggett is just the latest in a line of federal attempts to take control of Texas' public education system. Earlier this year, and with our support, Perry rightly rejected federal "Race to the Top" funds because the Obama administration attached strings that required misguided changes to state education policy.

The U.S. Constitution does not mention education, let alone grant the federal government authority to attempt to gain influence over states' public education systems.

Indeed, even the section of U.S. code that established the U.S. Department of Education clearly states that "the establishment of the Department of Education shall not increase the authority of the Federal Government over education or diminish the responsibility for education which is reserved to the States and the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States."

The Texas Constitution holds that "it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools."

U.S. code and the state constitution are clear: The State of Texas is responsible for its own public education system and the federal government has no basis for attempting to influence or control that system. Congress' misguided attempts to force Texas to violate its constitution to guarantee future funding, or to attach strings to federal education dollars, undermines the spirit and the letter of U.S. and state law.

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