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

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 here to view a video highlighting Gov. Perry's endorsements.

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

National Governor’s Association Report Recognizes Texas for Dropout Prevention Practices

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: http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.6c9a8a9ebc6...

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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 NewGeography.com 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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The Golden State isn't worth it

November 1, 2009

Los Angeles Times

William Voegeli

Today's public benefits fail that test, as urban scholar Joel Kotkin of NewGeography.com and Chapman University told the Los Angeles Times in March: "Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California. 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."

These judgments are not based on drive-by sociology. According to a report issued earlier this year by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., Texas students "are, on average, one to two years of learning ahead of California students of the same age," even though per-pupil expenditures on public school students are 12% higher in California. The details of the Census Bureau data show that Texas not only spends its citizens' dollars more effectively than California but emphasizes priorities that are more broadly beneficial.

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Perry on the mark on T-STEM expansion

October 23, 2009

Dallas Morning News

What do you know? A real, live idea has emerged in the Republican race for governor. Instead of the hourly whack-the-opponent news releases from the Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison campaigns, Perry recently announced plans to double the number of T-STEM academies across the state.

Growing out of the Texas High School Project, T-STEM is a program aimed at getting more Texas students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. Since we often discuss the importance of those subjects here, we won't go into detail about why they matter.

Rather, here's why the governor is right: There is a growing body of evidence that these academies, which can operate as schools within a school, are producing desirable results. We have at least four examples in North Texas:

• Berkner High School in Richardson has a T-STEM academy, and, among other things, the school touts one of its students as having won a prestigious statewide math contest. Part of the success is due to the project focus Berkner uses in leading students toward a hands-on feel for science, math, technology and engineering. And the teaching at Berkner is drawing notice. Texas Instruments recently inducted a Berkner T-STEM teacher into its academy for recognized math and science instructors.

• R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch also has a T-STEM academy. Like Berkner, Turner's program uses project-based learning and draws heavily from first-year teachers, who come to these subjects fresh.

That's probably one reason Perry wants to recruit more young science and math teachers. He also proposes expanding across the state the U-Teach program, which the University of Texas at Austin created to entice college students into considering careers as math and science teachers.

• Conrad High School, in North Dallas' Vickery Meadows neighborhood, has an academy, too. What caught our eye is that 97 percent of Conrad's students are Latino or African-American. And its academy is showing impressive results, including 95 percent of its ninth-graders passing Algebra I, far higher than a typical Texas high school.

• Williams Preparatory Academy in northwest Dallas serves a similar population. And the charter school's T-STEM program is working with nearby UT-Southwestern to engage its students in these subjects.

Williams' collaboration is a perfect example of how these academies open students to the career possibilities these critical subjects offer. And as the governor noted in his proposal for putting $160 million into them in the next Legislature, they are succeeding. Texas has given close to 90 percent of T-STEM schools an exemplary or recognized rating, the top two ratings in the state accountability system.

Score one for the governor for introducing a serious idea into the campaign. And score an even bigger one for T-STEM academies. They deserve this boost. Berkner High School, Richardson

R.L. Turner High School, Carrollton-Farmers

Branch

Conrad High School, Dallas

Williams Preparatory Academy, Dallas

Harmony School of Nature, Dallas

Irving T-Stem Academy, Irving

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Rick Perry's right on T-Stem academies

October 21, 2009

Dallas Morning News

William McKenzie

Well, what do you know? A real, live idea has emerged in our governor's race. Instead of the hourly whack-the-opponent press releases that come from each side, Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday his plan to increase the number of T-Stem academies in Texas.

T-Stem is a program aimed at getting more students interested in technology, science, engineering and math. And since we often discuss the importance of those subjects here, I won't go into great detail about why that matters. Rather, here's why the governor is right:

There is a growing body of evidence that shows these academies, which can operate as schools within a school, are producing desirable results. Here in North Texas, we have at least four examples.

Berkner High School in Richardson has a T-Stem academy, and, among other things, the school touts one of its students as having won a prestigious statewide math contest. At least part of that success is due to the project focus that Berkner uses in getting students to have a hands-on feel for science, math, technology and engineering. And the teaching at Berkner is drawing notice. Texas Instruments recently inducted a Berkner T-Stem teacher into its academy for recognized math and science teachers.

R.L. Turner High School also has a T-Stem academy. Like Berkner, the METSA program there uses project-based learning. And it draws heavily from first-year teachers, who come to these subjects fresh.

That's probably one reason Gov. Perry also is proposing more money be invested in recruiting young science and math teachers, including through the U-Teach program. UT started that as a way to get college students into math and science teaching.

Conrad High School in Dallas has an academy, too. What caught my eye with it is the fact that 97 percent of Conrad's students are Latino or African-American. And the academy is showing impressive results, including having 95 percent of its 9th graders pass Algebra I.

Williams Prep in northwest Dallas serves a similar population. And the charter school's T-Stem academy is working with nearby UT-Southwestern to engage its students in these subjects.

To me, Williams' collaboration is a perfect example of how T-Stem academies are trying to open students to the possibilities of these fields. And, as the governor noted in his proposal for putting $160 million into them in the next Legislature, they are succeeding. The state has given about 90 percent of T-Stem schools either an exemplary or recognized rating, which are the top two ratings the state awards.

Score one for the governor for introducing a serious idea into the campaign. And score an even bigger one for T-Stem academies. They deserve this boost.

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Gov. Perry: Vote “Yes” on Propositions 4 and 11 to Strengthen Education and Property Rights

October 19, 2009

Gov. Rick Perry today spoke at the Greater Houston Builders Association Luncheon and urged Texans to vote in this year’s constitutional election. Early voting begins today. He specifically emphasized the importance to vote “yes” for Proposition 4, related to developing more top-tier research universities across the state, and for Proposition 11, related to strengthening Texas landowners’ private property rights.

“To fund the important next step in our efforts to push Texas up the list of top-educating states, we need Texas voters to visit their local polling place and vote for Proposition 4,” said Gov. Perry. “I’ll also be checking the box for Proposition 11 which sustains our state’s forward momentum in protecting private property rights and builds a firewall between the misguided principles of the Supreme Court’s Kelo ruling and our state’s private property owners.”

Proposition 4 will implement the provisions of House Bill 51 from the 81st Legislative session by offering the leaders of emerging research universities a path to Tier One certification. It will also tie funding to key accountability measures, like procurement of matching funding and the attainment of key measures like degrees actually awarded, instead of students enrolled. Proposition 11, based on House Joint Resolution 14, closes off one angle a government entity might pursue to improperly take land by requiring the government to continue having “ownership, use, and enjoyment” of the property so it can’t be handed over to a private party. It also clarifies that “public use” does not include economic development for the purpose of enhancing tax revenues and restricts the government’s ability to extend eminent domain authority.

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Former Sec. of Education and Conservative Radio Host Bill Bennett Endorses Gov. Perry for Re-election

October 16, 2009

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of former Sec. of Education and conservative talk show host Bill Bennett for re-election in 2010.

“Rick Perry's leadership is one of the main reasons we have something called the 'Texas Story,'” Bill Bennett said. “It's a story of economic success, opportunity, medical and health care innovation, and legal reform. It's a story that ought to be told in all 50 states. I'm proud to endorse Rick Perry as he prepares to write the sequel.”

Bill Bennett is host of the Morning in America radio show and the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute. He served as U.S. Secretary of Education under Reagan from 1985 to 1988 and as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush.

“Bill’s influence and leadership on the national stage has been crucial in the effort to promote conservative values across our nation and hold conservative leaders accountable to upholding these values through their actions,” said Gov. Perry. “His support is evidence of the national recognition Texas has achieved for its fiscally conservative approach to success by maintaining low taxes, limited government and regulations that free individuals to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Bennett joins the Texas Municipal Police Association, Texas Chemical Council, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, RNC Committeewoman Cathie Adams, Texas Right to Life, Houston Realty Business Coalition, Texas Apartment Association, Texas Republican County Chairman Association President 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, the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, Texas Association of Realtors, Texas Civil Justice League PAC, Texas Oil 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, Texas Cattle Feeders Beef-PAC, Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Schlafly, Texas Pharmacy Business Council, Texas Podiatric Medical Association and Texas Association for Interior Design and former Texas Republican Party Chairman Susan Weddington in their endorsement of Gov. Perry.

*Organization listed for identification purposes only, Americans for Prosperity itself does not endorse candidates.

Bill Bennett, former Sec. of Education and conservative talk show host

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Hutchison on Education: Name That Building

October 13, 2009

Governor Perry Delivers Education Reform; Senator Hutchison Delivers New Name for Education Building

AUSTIN – While on the campaign trail, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison repeatedly cites education as one of her top priorities. However, education has been anything but a priority for Sen. Hutchison during her 16 years in Washington.

Sen. Hutchison’s record reveals that she has sponsored just one piece of education legislation that has become law – a symbolic bill to rename the U.S. Department of Education building in Washington, D.C., for President Lyndon Baines Johnson. (H.R. 584, 110th Congress, became Public Law 110-15 on March 23, 2007)

“Contrary to what the Senator may believe, the more than 1,000 people who move to Texas every day are not doing so because the U.S. Department of Education building was renamed,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Businesses and the people they employ know that when they come to Texas, their children will receive a good education and be prepared to enter the workforce.”

On Sen. Hutchison’s campaign website under “Issues,” the “Education” section includes a quote from the Senator but zero policy proposals, nor any mention of her accomplishments – or lack thereof – related to education.

Meanwhile, Gov. Perry has effectively worked with lawmakers and leaders to improve the Texas education system by increasing accountability, emphasizing core curriculum, introducing teacher incentive pay, increasing college aid, and paving the path to develop more Tier One universities.

To view a comparison of Gov. Perry and Sen. Hutchison's education accomplishments, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koXjLSVuISo

Consider the following accomplishments:

*Funding for Texas public education has increased 43 percent over the past nine years.

*Gov. Perry has created the largest teacher pay-for-performance program in the nation to reward the teachers who are making the greatest impact in efforts to improve student performance. Since its inception, more than 200,000 teachers in 600 schools have received an average merit pay amount of $2,000 per year.

*This past session, Gov. Perry signed into law House Bill 3, which implements higher standards, accountability and transparency. This legislation makes Texas one of the first states in the nation to hold schools directly accountable for improving student performance and ensuring students meet college readiness standards. It also requires districts to post their budgets online so taxpayers can see how their money is being spent and helps improve parent access to student academic data.

*Under Gov. Perry, schools have increased their focus on core subjects like math, science and English/reading, which are essential to empowering students’ success in our increasingly competitive and global economy.

*Following this past session, Gov. Perry also signed House Bill 51, which will open the door for seven of the state’s emerging research universities to compete for Tier One or national research status. Through the Emerging Technology Fund, companies that are developing cutting-edge technologies work with universities to commercialize their discoveries.

*Gov. Perry has also worked with the legislature to improve access to colleges and universities by increasing financial aid levels by 900 percent.

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Raconteur Media Company in Austin, TX designed, develops and maintains RickPerry.org for Texans for Rick Perry.