Signing of HB5 is Just a Beginning

I applaud the signing of House Bill 5 into law. This legislation will allow for multiple pathways to a high school diploma, increased opportunities for vocational education at the high school level, and the beginning of a return to local control of education.

While the passage of HB5 is just the beginning of a long overdue reform of a top down education policy in Texas, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and Sen. Dan Patrick deserve credit for getting this reform bill passed by the legislature. Fortunately, Gov. Perry signed this much needed legislation on Monday, June 10.

Texas has a huge shortage of skilled workers in our state and we have neglected the value of vocational education for far too long while pushing an elitist educational policy intent on everyone going to a university. Meanwhile, we are ignoring the majority of young Texans who aren't going on to a four year university and who would benefit from increased opportunities for vocational education courses. Too many of our students are dropping out of high school as a result because they don't see education as relevant to them. Being "career ready" is just as valuable as being "college ready."

As the former Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission, I have been a strong advocate for local control of education and more opportunities for vocational education at the secondary and post-secondary levels. I will continue that emphasis as Governor.

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