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

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

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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Area teachers reaping rewards of hard work across the board

October 10, 2009

Waco Tribune-Herald

Wendy Gragg

Last year, legislators set aside more than $147 million to be used for the rewards. More than 200 Texas school districts, including Waco ISD, volunteered for the program and then applied for the grants.

At least 60 percent of the state’s grant dollars are going to teachers, and 40 percent of the money must be used for things like recruitment and retention of teachers and master teachers and incentives to principals and other school staff who increase student performance.

In Waco ISD, 102 teach- ers received individual awards, and 13 campuses got money, which will be distributed to a total of 598 staff members.


...average math TAKS score went from 2,265 to 2,406. The average reading score climbed from 2,144 to 2,259.


Gov. Rick Perry, who came to Waco’s Cesar Chavez Middle School last year to speak about the DATE grants, said that they, along with the Texas Educator Excellence Grants program, represent the largest investment in teacher incentives of any state in the entire nation.

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AUDIO: Hugh Hewitt Radio Show.

In these tough economic times for our nation, it is important to acknowledge that ideas still matter. It is not arbitrary that Texas has an unemployment rate nearly 2% below the national rate, or that California's unemployment rate is roughly 4% higher than it is in Texas. Our state didn't create more jobs in 2008 than the other 49 states combined by accident. It is no fluke that Texas is the #1 exporting state in the nation for several years running.

Indeed, Texas proves that limited government, low taxes, a fair and predictable regulatory climate, tort reform, and accountability in education are more than slogans, they are the conservative successes that Governor Perry has cultivated in Texas.

Governor Perry went on the Hugh Hewitt radio show yesterday to discuss these topics and more. Listen here:

Governor Perry with Hugh Hewitt

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Perry makes stop at local hotspot

October 7, 2009

Baylor Lariat

Trent Goldston

Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke Tuesday at George's Restaurant and Catering to an audience of more than 80, and behind the helm of Perry's local campaign were several Baylor students and alumni helping to coordinate the event.

While enjoying the venue's jalapeño-poppers and other edibles, the crowd heard Perry speak on topics ranging from private property rights to health care. Perry said this visit to Waco was part of his new grass-roots campaign effort, which was inspired by some of the strategies of President Barack Obama.

Perry, elected to the office in 2000, will be running as the incumbent against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the gubernatorial election in November.

Behind the scenes of the event was Baylor alumnus Jonathon McClellan, who now works as Regional Field Director of Central Texas for Perry in Austin. McClellan said it was nice to be able to come down to Waco again.

"It feels good to be a part of the campaign," McClellan said.

Also working the event was Flower Mound senior Brooks Allen, a volunteer leadership chair and field representative for the Waco area in Perry's campaign.

"I started out just wanting an avenue to learn more and get more involved politically," Allen said. "I wanted to find a way to get more knowledge of things other than textbooks -- actual field experience."

Allen said he has been able to interact with Perry and that it has been exciting getting to work on his campaign.

"In political science class you spend a lot of time learning about different political campaigns, but getting to actually see the inside of one, and work with it and see the ups and downs, it's been fun," Allen said.

Allen said he goes out and speaks to students and members of the Waco community about

Perry's campaign and encourages to students to get out and vote.

"Most college students aren't registered to vote, or aren't registered to vote here," Allen said. "Our democratic process doesn't work without people getting out and voting."

Allen said he plans on staying a part of the campaign through this election.

"We will see what happens," Allen said. "I would like to involved with the legislation down in Austin, regardless of how this election goes for Gov. Perry."

In his speech at George's, Perry utilized of humor, addressing all of the hot topics while keeping the mood pretty light.

Toby Walker, a Waco local, attended the event and said she left satisfied.

"It's neat every time you see him," Walker said. "He's got a great sense of humor."

Perry concluded the event by emphasizing to audience members the importance of getting involved in the political process, which he said, was an integral part of the American society.

"Empower yourself to stand up in the public arena and not be afraid," Perry said. "If there are enough of us who are willing to do this, our country will not fail."

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Governor Perry on Fox Business News

On Fox Business News, Governor Perry spoke at length with host David Asman about the relative economic and fiscal strength of Texas, even in these tough times. Governor Perry reiterated his five keys to success, including:

1. Don't spend all the money.
2. Keep the taxes low.
3. Make sure the regulatory climate is fair and predictable.
4. Tort reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits.
5. Fund an accountable education system to produce a skilled workforce.

Because Texas has been fiscally responsible, Texas is still succeeding:

The Governor also spoke out against cap and trade, which would be the largest tax increase in American history, and he discussed the 10th Amendment, the tea party movement, and health care reform.

Stay up-to-date on the campaign. Follow @GovernorPerry on Twitter for updates from Rick Perry himself, and @GovPerry2010 for updates from campaign staff.

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Talkin' Texas

Despite a malicious denial-of-service attack on today, thousands of Texans were able to participate in "Talkin' Texas" and listen to Governor Rick Perry talk about his record and vision for Texas.

Governor Perry reflected on the conservative legislative accomplishments in Texas that have positioned our state for success. If you missed it earlier, you can now watch the live portion of the video for yourself:

Governor Perry today offered several new proposals to maintain Texas’ positive momentum, including:

• A constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature to increase state taxes;
• Making permanent the recent tax cut extended to 40,000 small businesses in the last legislative session (under current law, the $1 million business margins tax exemption will expire in 2011);
• Imposing criminal penalties on employers who knowingly violate employment laws by hiring workers who are in Texas illegally; and
•Paving the way for ongoing job growth by purging unnecessary laws and regulations that stifle Texas entrepreneurs.

The event, which garnered more than 22,000 views in spite of the attack, was streamed live from the HOLT-Caterpillar facility in San Antonio. Check back at and look out for regular updates.

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Shooter: Rick Perry should remain in office

September 21, 2009

Daily Toreador

Cole Shooter

The Texas gubernatorial race is heating up, and we’ve got some old and new faces involved.

So far, the Republicans and Democrats have multiple candidates, each vying for their party’s nomination. The plucky Libertarians have two and the lowly independents have one. All have quite a battle on their hands in trying to defeat Gov. Rick Perry, the longest-serving Texas governor.

The main Democrat front runners, former U.S. Ambassador to Australia and Japan Tom Schieffer, 2006 Texas Agriculture Commissioner candidate Hank Gilbert, and musician, humorist and former Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, are all competing for their party’s nomination in the March 2, 2010 primary.

Most people haven’t heard of Schieffer or Gilbert, and Friedman, aside from his music, books and absolutely horrendous cigar line, is still not going to be taken seriously as a candidate.

We all know these candidates, as well as the Libertarians and the lone Independent, don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell to become Texas governor, so this is the last time they’ll be mentioned here.

Republican secessionist Larry Kilgore also is running, the same man who gave a speech at a secession rally in Austin and said, “I hate that flag up there. I hate the United States government. ... The U.S. flag is coming down from over Texas. It will not be part of Texas anymore.”

Despite my disapproval of the current administration’s abominable handling of the country’s business, I have no interest in secession. Since Kilgore’s not electable either, the race is between incumbent Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

In perusing Hutchison’s campaign Web site, it’s quite clear they don’t know what issues the campaign wants to stress. The site has some vague quotes from Hutchison, such as, “On behalf of every Texas taxpayer an effective, transparent and accountable state government should be our first priority. Our elected officials work for the tax payers not the other way around.”

The area also has links to allow visitors to give their feedback on how they feel on the generic issue categories like taxes and education. The Web site’s ambiguity seems to be a way to stay completely non-committal while letting the visitors believe she cares how they feel about issues.

Hutchison has made one stance clearly known. She’s said she believes Perry has been in office too long. Perry was sworn in as Texas’ 47th governor in December of 2000. Hutchison was sworn in as a senator in 1993.

She’s also taken to advocating term limits for Texas governor to two four-year terms. Funny how she didn’t mind staying in the senate for 16 years, but takes umbrage at Perry’s nine years. Hutchison also hasn’t been able to give many reasons as to why she considers Perry’s tenure too lengthy, other than she believes the position should be hers.

Her dedication is also questionable. Just recently, Hutchison missed a vote that’s most likely important to the Republicans she expects to support her as their candidate for governor. She chose to campaign instead of voting to deny funds to the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, otherwise known as ACORN.

While her colleagues were working for their constituents to ensure taxpayer dollars wouldn’t possibly be spent on brothels and the like, she attended a fund-raiser at the home of former Dallas Cowboys football player Roger Staubach.

Perry, however, has worked to promote a low-tax, pro-business state, which has made Texas the best place to weather the economic downturn.

Texas created more jobs than all other 49 states combined in 2008, has been the best exporting state for seven years in a row, and averages more than a thousand new residents moving into the state every day. Texas was named the best state for business and job growth for the fourth consecutive year by Chief Executive Magazine in March 2009, as well as rated among the most free states in the nation by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

Perry has worked to cut millions from the budget to keep the state’s debt load low, bring more opportunities to all of the state’s higher education programs, and he tirelessly has promoted Texas to bring in new businesses and residents. Hutchison can’t even be torn away from a fund-raiser to help ensure her constituents’ dollars won’t be spent on a corrupt organization.

Hutchison’s campaign slogan is “because Texas can do better.” The state is in such fine shape though, that Hutchison’s campaign can’t find many issues to stand up for. We can most certainly do better than Hutchison, and that’s by re-electing Perry.

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Gov. Perry Announces $8.6 Million for Bridge City ISD for Hurricane Ike Recovery

September 15, 2009

My Harlingen News

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state has provided $8.6 million to Bridge City Independent School District to assist in the construction of a new elementary school campus, replacing two schools badly damaged by Hurricane Ike. These funds are part of House Bill 4586, appropriated to the Trusteed Programs in the Office of the Governor as additional funding beyond the general disaster relief provisions of HB 4102.

“This community was hit hard by Ike a year ago, and I want these students, teachers and parents to know the rest of Texas is standing with them as Bridge City rebuilds,” Gov. Perry said. “We look forward to cutting the ribbon on a new school, one that will ably serve its mission of preparing our young people for the challenges of the future.”

Sims Elementary and Hatton Elementary were decimated by Ike’s storm surge, which flooded the entire Bridge City area. During the storm, Sims was under 4 feet of water, while Hatton held 2 feet of water. The schools are also both aging and do not meet several current codes and standards, making it more cost effective to build a new school, rather than simply rebuilding.

The state amount covers a shortfall between what insurance and FEMA will pay to construct a new school. Total construction costs are estimated at $20.7 million.

“I am grateful to Governor Perry for working with the South East Texas delegation and the community of Bridge City to secure this needed funding,” Sen. Tommy Williams said. “These dollars will help ensure the children of Bridge City will have a safe learning environment and help them to return to their normal lives after experiencing the devastation of Hurricane Ike.”

“These funds are important to the Bridge City community, giving parents peace of mind that their children will have a safe and productive learning environment while at school,” Rep. Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton said. “During these difficult times, I am extremely pleased that these schools will be rebuilt without raising taxes or needing any additional bond revenue.”

The Texas Education Agency has opened a second HB 4102 application process period. Districts were previously only able to apply for funds relating to qualifying unreimbursed physical damage. Now, districts can also apply for funding to replace revenue lost related to declining property values or lost enrollment due to disaster.

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