State of Texas Archives: on Education

Greg Abbott: Fully fund GURI: Governor's University Research Initiative

While so many colleges are competing for 5-Star recruits to athletic programs, Texas is leading the way to attract 5-Star recruits to our academic programs. The Governor's University Research Initiative you funded last session brought internationally renowned researchers to Texas.

As one example, Dr. Richard Miles--a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering--is leaving Princeton to join the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M. His work places Texas A&M and the State of Texas at the forefront of laser and optical technology that can enhance national security. Research like this spurs economic development and helps create jobs.

We must continue our mission to do more than just prepare Texas for the next two years. We also need to put our state on the path for national and international prominence for the next 20 years. GURI does just that. And must be fully funded again.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Texas Legislature Jan 31, 2017

Vicente Gonzalez: Fight for pre-kindergarten and Head Start

Education is our society's greatest equalizer. I will fight for the education our children need to get ahead.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Greg Abbott: Additional funding for schools to adopt high-quality Pre-K

[Since the 1980s], the State of Texas has been mired in litigation about school funding. I think we can all agree it's time to put school finance litigation behind us. It's time to stop fighting about school finance and start fixing our schools. To improve our schools we must begin by building a strong foundation at the very beginning. Our goal should be to ensure all Texas students are performing at grade level in reading and math by the time they finish the 3rd grade.

To begin that process, my budget provides additional funding for schools that adopt high-quality Pre-K programs. My plan also provides Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers with world-class literacy and math teacher training.

To begin the process of building a better education system in Texas, we must improve early education. This is why I'm declaring early education as my first emergency item as governor. Our children and their future have no time for delay.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Greg Abbott: Ensure having the best teachers by saying NO to Common Core

An essential ingredient to better schools is ensuring we have the best teachers in our classrooms. In part, that means saying no to common core. We can bring out the best in all of our teachers by getting rid of the one-size-fits-all mandates and trusting our teachers to truly educate our students. My budget invests in more STEM teachers and in teachers who serve our most disadvantaged students.

We must also return genuine local control to our schools. This book contains all the education-related laws in Texas. It's absurd to micromanage educators with all of these laws. Let's cut it down to size by allowing school districts to opt out of parts of the education code so they can design an education plan that best fits their community needs.

Local control, however, doesn't end at the school district level. Real local control rests with parents. The ultimate parental involvement is giving parents more choices in their child's education.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Emily Sanchez: Supports parents choosing schools via vouchers

Q: Do you support or oppose parents choosing schools via vouchers?

A: Support.

Q: Do you also support charter schools? and homeschooling?

A: Absolutely. I myself would prefer home schooling for my children, but as a single mother that is an impossibility.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 21, 2014

David Alameel: Quality education for ALL children, not just privileged few

As a father, David Alameel believes that the best investment we can make is in a quality education for ALL children, not just the privileged few. That is why he has been part of numerous non-profits that provide scholarships to young Texans who work hard in school. As a Senator, David Alameel will continue to fight for education funding to make sure that our children get the world class education they deserve in order to compete in the increasingly global economy.
Source: 2014 Texas Senate campaign website May 15, 2014

Elizabeth Ames Jones: Advocate of parental choice in education

As an advocate of parental choice in education, including charter schools and home schooling, I recognize the choice of parents in the education of their children. I believe that home schooling and charter schools are an integral components of that choice.

Simply put, education is one of the most important investments we can make in the future of Texas. Investing in Texas' universities will have an enormous impact on the Texas economy, quality of worker produced, and the job market the graduates are going into. Texas leaves $3.7 billion on the table annually in federal research dollars and venture capital because our existing Tier One institutions don't have the sufficient capacity. It is in Texas' best interests of have the very best universities for all of our children to attend.

Source: 2012 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" May 1, 2012

David Dewhurst: Protect student's right to pray and reflect in schools

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has worked with countless volunteers and activists across Texas in passing legislation that keeps our children safe and strengthens Texas families. A committed father and husband, Dewhurst will continue to fight for pro-family legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website,, "Issues" Apr 1, 2012

Julian Castro: Take "Race to the Top" Funds despite governor's refusal

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro rejected Gov. Rick Perry's rationale for refusing to apply for Race to the Top education grants, which could have been worth $700 million to the state's schools. "I would have taken the Race to the Top money if I was mayor dogcatcher, or whatever," Castro said. He shrugged off the notion that the potential windfall came with too many strings attached because, he said, "all federal money comes with strings attached."

Castro's advice to cities and communities that want federal funding but, due to friction between the state and the federal government, might find it hard to come by it was to cut out the middle man. "You need to make a direct pitch to the administration," he said.

Of course, another option is to change the middle man. The San Antonio mayoralty may be non-partisan, but Castro is a Democrat--and he thinks his party might have a shot in at least one statewide race this year: "With Gov. Perry," said Castro, "that's a race that will be very close."

Source: Reeve Hamilton in Texas Tribune, "Race to the Top" Feb 17, 2010

Rick Perry: No "Race to the Top" funding; too many strings attached

Perry today announced that Texas will not submit an application for federal Race to the Top education funds. Despite tremendous education successes, Texas' application would be penalized by the US Department of Education for refusing to commit to adopt national curriculum standards and tests.

"Texas is on the right path toward improved education, and we would be foolish and irresponsible to place our children's future in the hands of unelected bureaucrats and special interest groups thousands of miles away in Washington, virtually eliminating parents' participation in their children's education," Gov. Perry said. "If Washington were truly concerned about funding education with solutions that match local challenges, they would make the money available to states with no strings attached."

Through Race to the Top funding, the US Department of Education seems to be coercing states like Texas to abandon their own locally established curriculum standards in favor of adopting national standards.

Source: 2010 Texas Gubernatorial press release Jan 13, 2010

Rick Noriega: Scrap “No Child Left Behind”

Q: Do you favor scrapping “No Child Left Behind?”

A: Yes. Bush left the education community of Texas in a shambles of testing & failed accountability schemes; now we see his Administration doing the same to the nation’s schools. The best accountability is providing the federal funds to ensure quality teachers and staff and adequate materials, books and technology. Local school districts in Texas must be unfettered from the pressures of teaching the test and only worrying about arbitrary test scores.

Source: Democracy for Texas Questionnaire Response Mar 1, 2008

Joaquin Castro: More funds for schools, teachers, and college

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

George W. Bush: Teach values and moral responsibility in schools

Our children must also be educated in the values of our civil society. Some people think it’s inappropriate to make moral judgments anymore. Not me. We must be willing to draw a clear line between right and wrong. Those clear lines must be supported by political leaders, public schools and our public institutions. Educating our children about their moral and civil responsibilities will serve them-and the nation-every bit as well as the academic learning they require.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

George W. Bush: No-nonsense basic curriculum focusing on results

Our legacy must be to have the best public education system in the world. Our system must be based on high expectations and high standards for every child. It must be a system that focuses on no-nonsense, basic curriculum; a system that aligns authority and responsibility at the local level, a system that is flexible and encourages educational entrepreneurship. A system that focuses on results, not process. And a system that first and foremost teaches all our children to read.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

George W. Bush: Set clear goals, use early tests

We set clear goals: excellence in a core curriculum of reading, math, science, and social studies. We developed a diagnostic tool to help kindergarten through second grade teachers detect and correct reading problems early. We created a rigorous core curriculum that is knowledge-based, back-to-basics, and phonics-driven. A child who does not pass the reading portion of the TAAS test in the 3rd grade must receive appropriate intervention & instruction before moving to regular classes in the 4th grade.
Source: Texas Educators Conf., Austin TX Jan 27, 1998

Brian Babin: Amendment for moment of silence in schools

Q: Do you support amending the United States Constitution to allow voluntary prayer and/or moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support funding the National Service Program (Ameri-Corps) in which young people receive money from the federal government for college in return for performing community service

A: No.

Babin adds, "Americans still believe in the principles that made our country great: principles like right and wrong, personal responsibility, the strength of the family and faith in our Creator, but those principles are no longer reflected in our federal government. Washington has gotten off track because it has strayed from those values."

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

Brian Babin: Vouchers for public, private or religious schools

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
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