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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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Names Nursing School for First Lady

August 21st, 2008

First Lady Anita Perry today touted the importance of quality nursing education at a ceremony announcing the naming of the Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC).

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Gov. Perry Establishes Science and Technology Champions Academy

April 12, 2008

Provides Opportunity and Incentive to Pursue Studies in Critical Fields

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the establishment of the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy for winners of the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair. Winners will receive full scholarships to attend the four and a half day-long residential academy, to be held at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) this summer.

"Science, math, engineering and technology represent the foundation for the majority of tomorrow’s high-demand, high-skill jobs," said Gov. Perry. "This new science and technology academy will allow students to further their studies in the critical fields of tomorrow, enabling Texas to remain competitive in a global marketplace."

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University of Texas and Aga Khan University Establish Historic Partnership

April 12, 2008

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry and His Highness the Aga Khan today participated in a display of unity and mutual respect at the State Capitol as the University of Texas at Austin and the Aga Khan University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The document establishes a partnership to solve shared challenges and achieve mutual goals.

"We can achieve so much more when we work together, focusing on the common values that unite us instead of the differences that make us unique," said Gov. Perry. "We must bridge the gap of understanding between East and West if we ever hope to experience a future of peace and prosperity."

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Gov. Perry Announces ETF Investment in Texas Tech Research Program

April 2, 2008

World-Class Research Talent Will Bolster Texas’ Role in Diverse Field of Nanophotonics

LUBBOCK – Gov. Rick Perry today announced a $2 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) to Texas Tech University to recruit renowned experts in nanophotonics technology, establishing a world-class center in applied nanophotonics at the College of Engineering’s Nano Tech Center.

"The Emerging Technology Fund continues to enable us to draw the brightest minds in research and innovation to our state, spurring the commercialization of university research, and ultimately positioning Texas as a strong competitor in the global marketplace," said Gov. Perry. "Continued expansion of our research and development capabilities in critical fields, such as nanophotonics, will create more jobs and generate substantial capital investments, further diversifying and enriching our economy."

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Gov. Perry Awards $689,000 to Statewide Child I.D. Program

March 7, 2008

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today awarded more than $689,000 to the Sheriff’s Association of Texas for the distribution of Child Identification Kits to all incoming kindergarten students in Texas public schools. These I.D. kits will allow parents and guardians to record their children’s physical characteristics and fingerprints on identification cards that can be filed at home and quickly given to authorities in the event their child goes missing. This grant is awarded under the federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and distributed by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division.

"Texans must take every precaution, even prepare for worst-case scenarios, to keep our children safe," said Gov. Perry. "Whether a child is lost or abducted, these Child I.D. cards will save valuable time in the search and rescue process, and help reunite families whose situation could have been much worse without the cards."

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Gov. Perry: An Educated Texan Is an Unlimited Texan

February 13, 2008

Commends UNCF’s Efforts to Support College Education

SAN ANTONIO – Gov. Rick Perry today gave the keynote speech for the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) South Texas Governor’s Luncheon. The UNCF provides financial support to small higher education institutions throughout the country to help keep the cost of education feasible for underserved populations. The event marked the governor’s second partnership with UNCF. Last September, the governor spoke at UNCF’s Dallas/Ft. Worth event, which raised more than $185,000 for partner schools.

"As governor, it is my mission each and every day to build a Texas that welcomes all and includes all; that recognizes the hopes and aspirations of all of our citizens; and that empowers each and every citizen to dream, dare and achieve," said Gov. Perry. "I believe that an educated Texan is an unlimited Texan. I want Texas children to know this simple truth: We don’t care where you come from; we care where you are going."

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Gov. Perry Touts Strong Texas Economy

February 11, 2008

Encourages Innovation and Education for Continued Success

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today applauded the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GDGCC) for its involvement in bolstering economic vitality for Hispanic businesses in the Dallas/Forth Worth area.

"The members of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce play an important role in keeping the engine of Texas’ economy turning," said Gov. Perry. "Our success stems from our embodiment of a state enriched by a diversity of thought and a blended heritage, which forms one unique culture. And for all that is said about our diversity, we are one Texas and one people, as surely as our state flag bears one star."

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Gov. Perry: Education and Energy are Important Parts of Increasing Texas’ Global Competitiveness

January 30, 2008

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today spoke to the Governor’s Competitiveness Council, encouraging members to focus on increasing rigor and relevance in Texas classrooms, and bolstering research and development in alternative energy sources.

"The best way to drive prosperity in Texas is to ensure that our workers can compete for all jobs and to make sure that our industries can compete in the global economy," said Gov. Perry. "The State of Texas needs to do more than just think about how to make energy cheaper or roads wider, we need to keep our eyes trained on making our state a better place to live. Because, after all, a better quality of life is our aim."

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Gov. Perry Establishes Task Force on Higher Education Incentive Funding

January 28, 2008

Names Five to Task Force

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry established the Task Force on Higher Education Incentive Funding, which will make recommendations to the governor, lt. governor and speaker regarding guidelines for implementing higher education incentive funding programs. Incentives for public colleges and universities will be based on student and institutional achievements that are aligned with state and regional priorities.

"Establishing an innovative incentive-based performance funding system is essential to furthering Texas’ goal of having institutions of higher education prepare students for the demands and opportunities of the 21st century marketplace," said Gov. Perry. "We must change the paradigm from funding institutions solely based on students enrolled to funding based more on the quality of students produced."

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Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Selection of Dr. Elsa Murano as Sole Finalist for Texas A&M President

December 7, 2007

"I have the greatest admiration for Dr. Murano, having watched her revitalize the agriculture program at Texas A&M over the last three years. She is a nationally known researcher and food safety expert, and a visionary leader in the academic and research community. As a former student of Texas A&M, and a graduate of their animal science program, I am excited an agriculture expert will lead the university for the first time in a long time, recognizing agriculture is vital to our future and not merely our past."

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