Gov. Perry's Education Plan Gains Federal Approval
HOUSTON - Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced today that Texas’ No Child Left Behind implementation plan has received federal approval. The approval clears the way for almost $400 million in new federal funding, moving the governor’s education plan a step closer to the classroom.
“Texas was a model for President Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation, and we continue to lead the nation in innovative solutions to improve our schools,” Perry said. “The U.S. Department of Education’s stamp of approval means we can move forward with our plan to improve early childhood education, dropout prevention, teaching excellence, science education and our schools’ use of technology.”
The Texas Education Agency submitted the state’s No Child Left Behind implementation plan to the U.S. Department of Education last month. The plan includes funding to help local school districts implement Perry’s blueprint to continue improvements in Texas schools. The governor’s plan:
- Emphasizes dropout prevention, including creation of a dropout prevention division at the Texas Education Agency and establishing after school, summer school and mentoring programs that specialize in dropout prevention and recovery.
- Includes an Early Start education initiative to provide preschool children with vital reading and language skills to put them on the path to academic success.
- Helps school districts recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.
- Creates a Master Science Teacher program as one step toward making science a top educational priority in Texas schools.
- Ensures that teachers and administrators have the training and support they need to fully utilize new technological tools in the classroom.
“By emphasizing these five important areas we can continue to build on the proven reforms and high standards that have helped our schools show remarkable progress over the last several years,” Perry said. “We must keep on this path of accountability because educating every child means advancing every dream.”
On Jan. 8, Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which authorizes federal education appropriations and increases the emphasis on accountability. Texas is set to receive $2.3 billion for K-12 education under the act, an increase of $397 million over the state’s current appropriation.
“When President Bush signed his No Child Left Behind bill into law, he made the federal government a strong ally of accountability, local communities and parents,” Paige said. “Our president believes there are no limits to what can be achieved when all Americans have the opportunity to learn and pursue their dreams.”
In March, Perry unveiled a multi-aspect approach to further strengthen educational opportunities for Texas schoolchildren, saying it was important for the state to build on the educational successes achieved through the strong accountability and assessment programs implemented during the past six years. Since 1995, the number of recognized and exemplary schools has tripled, while the number of low-performing schools has declined 60 percent.
Early Childhood »