Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Initiatives - Education

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October 1, 2012 - Cody Willming, Student, University of Texas at Dallas

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The single most effective step a person can take toward a better life is getting a great education, and Texas has made a concerted effort toward creating better, more accountable schools to make a great education easier to achieve during a time of increasingly global competition.

While a quality education provides a strong foundation for everyone, quality education for all collectively provides a strong foundation for the state's entire economy. In Texas, our fertile business climate continues to attract employers from around the nation and around the world, largely due to our versatile, talented and hard-working workforce that can fill any position employers need.

By investing in resources and leveraging technology to prepare today's students for the challenges of the new workplace, Texas can maintain its edge in cultivating and attracting the employers of the 21st century.

Under Gov. Perry's leadership, Texas has become the first state in the nation to make the college preparatory curriculum the standard for all students, and has won nationwide acclaim for its high academic standards and efforts to battle the school dropout problem.

Action Items

»  Gov. Perry recently proposed expanding the Virtual School Network by creating the Texas Virtual High School that will provide students who have dropped out of traditional high schools an opportunity to earn a high school diploma without returning to a bricks and mortar school. Additionally, this expanded network will give students additional access to classes their schools may not offer, dual credit opportunities, and flexibility to help keep students in school.
»  In 2011, signed HB 2910 creating the T-STEM Challenge Scholarship that will provide competitive awards to regional partnerships between community and technical colleges and local employers to help attract, retain and graduate  STEM students.  Gov. Perry originally announced his proposal to create this scholarship in October of 2009.
»  The T-STEM Challenge Scholarship builds on the Texas High School Project (THSP), a multi-million dollar public-private partnership designed to improve outcomes for economically disadvantaged and at risk students through innovative programs such as High School Redesign, Early College High Schools and T-STEM Academies. To date, THSP has served 83,000 students in 172 schools across the state. These efforts combined with new proposals, will provide multiple avenues for Texans to earn their diploma.
»  In 2007, Gov. Perry supported the creation of Texas' Dropout Recovery Program. Nationally recognized, the program recruits students who have already made the decision to drop out and offers them an avenue to complete their degree and enroll in college. The program provides maximum flexibility and is highly individualized based on students' needs. Most promising, the program has been equally successful across all demographic groups.
»  Providing parents and students the opportunity to attend the school that best fits their needs is paramount to providing students a superior educational experience. Whether a student chooses to attend one of the state's more than 400 charter schools, one of our state's public schools or are educated at home or in a private school, Gov. Perry believes that having these option is a critical component of creating a robust education system. According to US Charters, Texas has the second highest number of students in charter schools.

News & Announcements

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    ICYMI: Advanced Placement Participation More than Doubles in Past Decade
    The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has announced the number of Texas graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam has more than doubled in the past decade. In addition, the number of low-income graduates taking AP exams has more than quadrupled and the number of Hispanic/Latino graduates taking AP exams has nearly tripled.
  • Wednesday, February 05, 2014 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    ICYMI: Texas Affordable Degree Program Launched
    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.
  • Monday, December 02, 2013 • College Station, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Presents Cognizant STEM Grant to Texas A&M
    Gov. Rick Perry today joined Gordon Coburn, president of Cognizant, to present the company’s $150,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grant to Texas A&M University. The grant comes in the form of a three-year commitment from Cognizant and will support the promotion of STEM education programs through the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM) at Texas A&M University.
  • Tuesday, November 05, 2013 • Austin, Texas • Editorial
    Bringing Texas Closer to the Rest of The World
    The link between Israel and Texas is as strong as ever, and I was honored to be in the Holy Land recently to witness critical new milestones in the deepening of our relationship.
  • Friday, October 25, 2013 • Jerusalem, Israel • Speech
    Text of Gov. Perry Announcement on Creation of Texas A&M University Branch Campus in Israel
    This is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life; a truly special day for Texas and the entire Texas A&M family. With what I've experienced as an Aggie, and what I've seen during my travels in Israel, I know this partnership represents an exceptionally good fit for both parties.