Senator « District 7
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Logan Spence (512) 463-0107
December 19, 2012
Lt. Governor Dewhurst and Sen. Patrick Announce Education Agenda
AUSTIN—Today, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) held a press conference to discuss education reform in Texas and changes they plan to make during the 83rd Legislative Session.
“Education is so vitally important to the fabric of our culture here in Texas,” said Lt. Governor Dewhurst. “This Session, the Senate will work on a number of education reforms including strengthening accountability, increasing the number of charter schools and implementing school choice. Our children deserve the best education possible, and we need to make it easy for parents to determine the destiny for their child’s education. School choice introduces the incentive to develop new and innovative techniques to help educate our state’s most precious resource – our children.”
Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Senator Patrick laid out their goals for education that included changes to the accountability system, expansion of charter schools, more choices for parents and teachers and creates more pathways toward graduation with an emphasis on career as well as college.
“I have met with countless superintendents and teachers and heard the concerns voiced about the new STAAR testing system. I believe that we need to relieve students and teachers from over testing,” said Patrick. “However, we will not allow for the rigor of our academic institutions to suffer.”
Senator Patrick has supported the effort to eliminate the 15% and cumulative scoring requirements on current high school students. “My accountability legislation will create more pathways for students by giving them additional flexibility, while ensuring our students graduate fully prepared for higher education or the workforce,” said Patrick.
My legislation will also provide new choices for students and families to choose the best school for them, whether in district or out of district. It will lift the cap on charters and tighten standards on our charter schools to ensure highly effective schools remain open. It will also create a tax credit scholarship program, providing economically disadvantaged students the opportunity to choose a private school, or an after-school or pre-k program within public schools. “We currently have school choice in Texas for those wealthy enough to move,” said Patrick. “Unfortunately, most Texans have very limited choices and can be forced to attend a failing school.”
“Reform is never finished and success is never final,” said Patrick.