Incoming Texas Governor Abbott Eager to Start on Education

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With Greg Abbott’s victory just a week old, Abbott says that he’s ready to get down to business. He is now the first new Texas governor in 14 years after successfully beating out Democrat Wendy Davis to succeed Rick Perry, according to Phil Prazan for NBC.

He will be sworn into office in January alongside Republican Dan Patrick, who beat out Leticia Van de Putte in the lieutenant governor’s race. He isn’t waiting until then to be active in his new role, and one of the first issues he wants to tackle is education.

Abbott says he already has plans for his first 100 days in office, which include pushing his 169-page comprehensive policy plan. His Bicentennial Blueprint covers topics from public education to higher ed, as well as securing the border, transportation and water.

Adam Russell from Tyler Morning Telegraph writes that Abbott wants schools to evolve with technology. He thinks these advances would save money, increase efficiency and allow for more individualized learning.

It is his wish that the state’s public education system builds a solid foundation for its students. At the start of Pre-K through third-grade educators should ensure every child is at or above grade level by the third grade.

Higher Education is another area Abbott wants to improve on. He stated during his campaign that Texas beats California in every way except when it comes to higher education, writes Josh Brodesky for My San Antonio.

Pick your ranking, and California’s public universities dwarf those in Texas. California triples Texas — six to two — in the number of public universities that are members of the Association of American Universities, the leading research universities in the U.S.

 “$400 million would be a good start. These (California) institutions didn’t get to where they are by virtue of an occasional $8 to $10 million,” Romo said. “They got a lot of support from the state, and a lot of support from the community.

Where higher education has room for improvement, charter schools in the state are picking up the slack in K-12. For years, Texas saw charter schools operating at a level below traditional public schools. Now after a decade the charters have caught up, writes Libby Nelson for Vox.

Charter schools don’t necessarily need a 10-year window to be successful. While they have only now caught up to traditional public schools in Texas, they’ve been outperforming them for years in other places, including Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., that passed charter school laws around the same time. That suggests Texas could have learned some lessons from more successful states.