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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Gov. Perry: Education and Driver’s License Privilege Should Be Linked

January 27, 2010
Education, Job Creation and Fiscal Responsibility Keys to Continued Success in Texas HOUSTON – Gov. Rick Perry today stressed the relationship between an educated workforce and our state’s continued economic success at Nicholas Earth Printing, a commercial printing company and Texas small business that has helped keep our state’s economy moving. In his remarks, Gov. Perry called on the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Public Safety to work with local school districts to further leverage the privilege of a driver’s license as an incentive to keep students engaged in the education process. “I believe that in order for high school-aged individuals to get and keep a driver's license they should be enrolled in school, be it bricks and mortar or our virtual high school, and, most importantly, working toward their diploma or GED,” said Gov. Perry. “This approach will not only give local school districts another tool in their efforts to reduce dropouts. It will also give students an incentive to do the work that will prepare them to compete in the workforce. ” Gov. Perry also highlighted a recent report from the Texas Workforce Commission that said Texas has created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation. “These remarkable numbers indicate an economy with a strong core and a state government committed to strong fiscal discipline that is willing to stick to the basics,” said Gov. Perry. Gov. Perry stressed the need to maintain a focus on job creation efforts and uphold principles of fiscal responsibility as the keys to continuing Texas’ success. “Entrepreneurs know that they can succeed in Texas on their own merits, without being taxed, regulated and frivolously sued out of existence,” said Gov. Perry. “They also know that our workforce is getting stronger by the day because we have improved the quality of public education by emphasizing accountability, teacher incentive pay and mastery of the basic subjects. ” To ensure Texas continues providing a strong education to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive workplace, Gov. Perry most recently announced a proposed expansion of the state’s Virtual School Network. The expansion will improve access to high quality, online courses for high school students, especially those in rural schools and those educated at home. The proposal will also provide resources to recapture students who have dropped out of school. “By expanding and leveraging the Texas Virtual Schools Network we can keep more young Texans engaged in their education and make that future workforce even stronger,” said Gov. Perry. “As we work to raise the quality of a Texas education even higher, we are also working to lock in some wise limits on spending to keep Texas strong in the days to come. ” Gov. Perry also focused on fiscal responsibility by reiterating the need for Texas to amend its constitution with two key provisions: requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve tax increases and limiting spending growth to the combined growth rates of Texas’ population and inflation. Both amendments will ensure the continued fiscal discipline that allowed Texas to balance its budget in 2009 while setting aside billions for its Rainy Day fund and cutting taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses. The governor pledged to keep working until every Texan who wants a job has a job and noted that Texas’ adherence to low taxes, fair laws and predictable regulations will lead the state to continued economic success. Texas economist Ray Perryman recently noted that Texas is the “last in and first out” when it comes to the current economic downturn, pointing to the job growth that Texas has experienced in three of the past six months and the fact that the state’s unemployment rate has remained two points below the national average. “The story of hardworking innovators coming together to attract the best and brightest is played out again and again all across Texas as people take advantage of the job-friendly climate we’ve created and risk their capital in pursuit of a vision,” said Gov. Perry. “The fact is, even though no one is immune to the effects of the economic downturn, Texas is better off than just about every other state, thanks to years of disciplined conservative leadership at every level. ” Other education initiatives proposed by Gov. Perry include doubling the number of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies in an effort to educate more Texas students in the subjects required of an increasingly high tech economy and workplace, and expanding the UTeach Program to five more higher education institutions in an effort to recruit university students earning math and science degrees into teaching.

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Abilene's Receptor Logic is an Example of Texas' Success

Yesterday, Governor Perry highlighted the importance of strengthening our state’s education, maintaining a focus on job creation efforts, and upholding principles of fiscal responsibility as the keys to continuing Texas’ success. He spoke at Receptor Logic, a company working to develop therapies for cancer and infectious disease.

Abliene, TX "Success in Texas" Press Conference

Abliene, TX "Success in Texas" Press Conference

Abliene, TX "Success in Texas" Press Conference

View all the pictures from the press conference by visiting Rick Perry's Flickr page.

Another great way to see updates from the trail is by joining the nearly 3,000 people who follow @GovPerry2010 on Twitter.

Find the full Press Release here.

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Career Colleges and Schools of Texas Endorses Gov. Perry for Re-election

November 19, 2009
Career Colleges and Schools of Texas Endorses Gov. Perry for Re-election AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) for re-election in 2010. "The Career Colleges and Schools of Texas proudly endorses and supports Gov. Rick Perry as a true partner in providing the most attractive business climate for our graduates to flourish and contribute to the Texas economy," said CCST Board Chair Maureen K. Clements. CCST is the state association for private, post-secondary institutions that prepare people for today's jobs and promising careers. There are approximately 200 colleges and schools in the state with more than 154,000 students enrolled. These institutions offer a wide range of occupational curriculum which enable more students to reach their career goals, provide employers with a large pool of skilled workers, and ultimately expand the state's tax base by attracting and expanding business in Texas. More than 154,000 students are enrolled “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Career Colleges and Schools of Texas, and grateful for their efforts to strengthen Texas education and offer more Texans the chance of a successful, promising career.” said Gov. Perry. “I look forward to working with them to ensure Texans are prepared for the challenges of an increasingly competitive workplace and remain committed to fostering an economy that allows Texans to take hold of opportunity and achieve success.”

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MISD has no part in Race to the Top

January 14, 2010
Mckinney Courier-Gazette
Andrew Synder
McKinney schools won’t be receiving funds from the federal government’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, as governor Rick Perry has decided Texas will not be submitting an application for what is being billed as a national competition to advance school reform. Under the program, the state would have been eligible for up to $700 million in grants if it earned points in such areas as turning around failing schools, showing improvement in teacher effectiveness, and having quality charter schools.

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Statement from Gov. Rick Perry on KERA Debate

January 14, 2010
"Tonight’s debate gave Texans the chance to hear competing visions for our state’s future while reflecting on the remarkable success story our state has written over the last several years. "As our nation’s economy continues to struggle, our best prospects lie with maintaining our job-friendly climate, continuing to strengthen our education system, keeping our border secure and pushing back against the flood of misguided policies pouring out of Washington. "I hope that our success has earned the confidence of Texas voters and that they will continue supporting me in leading our state with hard work, innovation and careful fiscal stewardship."

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Gov. Perry Promotes $100 Million STEM Challenge Scholarship Initiative

December 16, 2009
The Orange Leader
WACO – Gov. Rick Perry today was joined by state and education leaders at Texas State Technical College to promote a $100 million initiative to help students pursuing degrees and certificates in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields receive the education necessary to compete in the global workforce. The STEM Challenge Scholarship will emphasize providing competitive awards to regional partnerships between higher education institutions, school districts and local employers to help attract, retain and graduate STEM students.

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Texans for Rick Perry Debut New Radio Ad – “Texas Values”

Texans for Rick Perry's new radio ad, "Texas Values," is now airing on stations across Texas.

Listen to the new ad here:

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Gov. Perry’s Leadership Draws Broad Statewide Support

December 2, 2009
Joins More Than 60 Associations and Conservative Leaders To Tout Vision for Texas’ Future DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today joined more than 60 associations and conservative leaders who have endorsed his re-election to highlight his diverse, statewide support. He also touted accomplishments that have strengthened Texas’ economy and offered his vision to keep Texas moving forward. “I am deeply honored to have the support of these Texans from fields including agriculture, healthcare, retail sales, manufacturing construction, law enforcement and education, as well as advocates for genuine Texas values, all of whom play an essential role in our state’s future,” said Gov. Perry. “With support like this, anything is possible, and I am genuinely grateful for their endorsements.” From trade associations including the Texas Municipal Police Association, Texas Association of Realtors and Texas Medical Association, to influential conservative leaders including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Perry’s endorsements highlight the broad-based support he has from diverse groups and industries. He also has strong support from the state’s Republican Party leadership, including endorsements from two-thirds of the State Republican Executive Committee leadership, several former chairs of the Republican Party of Texas, and Republican National Committeeman Bill Crocker. Gov. Perry emphasized his focus on job creation and economic development, noting its importance to maintaining the state’s economic strength and pointing to the state’s low taxes, predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and education efforts that have helped make it a national leader in exports and Fortune 500 companies. The governor also spoke against the misguided policies being promoted by Washington, including cap-and-trade and healthcare reform, that would expand government, increase debt and further intrude into Americans’ lives. He noted the important role states should play in offering innovative, effective alternatives to the challenges our nation faces. “The future well-being of our country resides at the state level with experienced executives leading their states to sustain a climate of innovation while running interference with a federal government run amok,” said Gov. Perry. “That is why I am seeking re-election. I love Texas and I am fully convinced that we have the fundamentals in place to lead our country out of these tough times.” Moving forward, Gov. Perry reiterated his proposals to make the recent small business tax cut permanent, promote a Constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature to increase state taxes, root out unnecessary regulations that stifle innovation and investment, and expand the number of STEM schools in the state and UTeach programs at state universities. Click <a href="">here</a> to view a video highlighting Gov. Perry's endorsements. <object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object> Below is the list of individuals and groups who have endorsed Gov. Perry’s re-election: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Texas Municipal Police Association Texas Chemical Council Texas Society of Professional Engineers Republican National Committeewoman Cathie Adams Texas Right to Life Houston Realty Business Coalition Texas Apartment Association TX Republican County Chairman Assoc. Pres. Linda Rogers Heidi Group Founder Carol Everett Texas Alliance for Life Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association PAC Texas Home School Coalition PAC Texans for Life Coalition President Kyleen Wright Conservative Republicans of Texas President Dr. Steve Hotze Free Market Foundation President Kelly Shackelford Texas Chiropractic Association Americans for Prosperity* State Director Peggy Venable Texas State Association of Fire Fighters Texas Association of Realtors Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani Texas Civil Justice League PAC Texas Oil and Gas Association President Rob Looney Concerned Women for America State Director Ann Hettinger Texas Optometric Association PAC Texas Pest Control Association Energy Entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens Texas Recreational Vehicle Association Texas Poultry Federation Justice at the Gate Founder Alice Patterson Former Republican Party of Texas Chair Tina Benkiser Texas Cattle Feeders Beef-PAC Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Schlafly Texas Pharmacy Business Council Justice Foundation President Allan Parker, Jr. Texas Podiatric Medical Association Texas Association for Interior Design Former Texas Republican Party Chairman Susan Weddington Former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett Family Research Council Action PAC Chairman Tony Perkins WallBuilders President and Founder David Barton Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour Texas Association of Builders HOMEPAC Manufacturers PAC of Texas Texas Medical Association TEXPAC Former Republican Party of Texas Chair George Strake Texas Society of Anesthesiologists PAC Texas Restaurant Association PAC Vision America Founder Dr. Rick Scarborough Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas PAC Recreational Fishing Alliance Texas Recreational Fishing Alliance Texas Nursery and Landscape Association PAC Career Colleges and Schools of Texas Two-Thirds of the State Republican Executive Committee Republican National Committeeman Bill Crocker Former Republican Party of Texas Chair Tom Pauken Texas Motor Transportation Association TRUCKPAC Empower Texans PAC *Organization listed for identification purposes only, Americans for Prosperity itself does not endorse candidates. # # #

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In Case You Missed It

November 23, 2009
<em>National Governor’s Association Report Recognizes Texas for Dropout Prevention Practices</em> AUSTIN – In October, the National Governors Association (NGA) Achieving Graduation for All guide recognized several of Texas’ dropout prevention efforts as practices to be emulated by other states. The report also specifically praised Gov. Perry for his efforts to make high school graduation a priority. The guide cited Texas’ initiatives including: •Dropout Recovery Pilot Program, one of the first statewide efforts to focus on recruiting dropouts, bringing them back to the classroom and offering schools incentives to ensure they graduate; •Reach Out to Dropouts program, which encourages district leaders to visit students who are not attending school; •Texas High School Project, a public-private partnership created by Gov. Perry in 2005 that helps at-risk students in high-need areas through the creation of rigorous high school models that focus on college preparedness, like the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies; •And the state’s high performing charter schools, which provide rigorous curriculum to minority and disadvantaged students. Building upon the state’s efforts to strengthen education and ensure students are college and career-ready, Gov. Perry recently proposed the expansion of the state’s T-STEM academies, which have successfully provided young Texans with the resources they need to succeed in the increasingly competitive global economy. The NGA study also recognized teacher incentive pay programs and dropout accountability standards as important components in the effort to decrease dropouts. Under Gov. Perry’s leadership, Texas has created the largest teacher incentive pay program in the nation and passed some of the most comprehensive accountability measures in the nation through House Bill 3 during the 2009 legislative session. Texas has also seen high school dropout rates decline for every student demographic between 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, according to a July 2009 report published by the Texas Education Agency. To view the entire report, visit:

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The Big-Spending, High-Taxing, Lousy-Services Paradigm

Autumn 2009
City Journal
William Voegeli
“Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California,” Joel Kotkin, executive editor of and a presidential fellow at Chapman University in Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times this past March. “Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California’s government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class.” Similarly, the CEO of a manufacturing company in suburban Los Angeles told a Times reporter that his business suffered less from California’s high taxes than from its ineffectual services. As a result, the company pays “a fortune” to educate its employees, many of whom graduated from California public schools, “on basic things like writing and math skills.” According to a report issued earlier this year by McKinsey & Company, Texas students “are, on average, one to two years of learning ahead of California students of the same age,” though expenditures per public school student are 12 percent higher in California. State and local government expenditures as a whole were 46.8 percent higher in California than in Texas in 2005–06—$10,070 per person compared with $6,858. And Texas not only spends its citizens’ dollars more effectively; it emphasizes priorities that are more broadly beneficial. In 2005–06, per-capita spending on transportation was 5.9 percent lower in California than in Texas, and highway expenditures in particular were 9.5 percent lower, a discovery both plausible and infuriating to any Los Angeles commuter losing the will to live while sitting in yet another freeway traffic jam. With tax revenues scarce and voters strongly opposed to surrendering more of their income, Texas officials devote a large share of their expenditures to basic services that benefit the most people. In California, by contrast, more and more spending consists of either transfer payments to government dependents (as in welfare, health, housing, and community development programs) or generous payments to government employees and contractors (reflected in administrative costs, pensions, and general expenditures). Both kinds of spending weaken California’s appeal to consumer-voters, the first because redistributive transfer payments are the least publicly beneficial type of public good, and the second because the dues paid to Club California purchase benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members.

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