Governor’s Race Issue: Education

Greg Abbott

  • Abbott has 4 separate planks of his education plan which include plans for early childhood education starting with Pre-K, more control at the school district level, an increased focus on digital learning, and plans for higher education reforms.
  • Abbott’s Pre-K plan provides extra funding for districts that open a “gold standard, high quality, accountable prekindergarten program.” His plan requires Pre-K providers set benchmarks and evaluate improvement.
  • Some conservative groups argue the state should have a smaller role in education policy. Abbott’s recommendations giving local districts more flexibility in their strategies and giving parents more power. Family power includes both more school choices as well as more power to petition the Texas Education Agency to change a school’s management.
  • One Abbott proposal would prohibit local school districts from using tax dollars for the purpose of hiring a lobbyist. His proposal argues school boards should represent themselves at the Texas Legislature and not work through groups like the Texas Association of School Boards.
  • “As Governor, I want next year’s Pre-K class to graduate from high school in the top ranked school system in the country. We will cultivate aspiration and achievement. That means setting expectations of excellence for our children, our teachers, our principals and our parents, and then giving educators the flexibility to achieve them.

Wendy Davis

  • Before her 2013 filibuster against abortion rules, Davis first gained statewide attention for a shorter filibuster in 2011 against cuts to public education. Davis’ education platform calls for more investments in public education, reducing standardized testing, and a universal prekindergarten program.
  • Davis argues her Pre-K program differs from Greg Abbott’s because every child in Texas would have access to schools before they enter kindergarten. During a conversation at the Texas Tribune Festival, Davis said her plan would cost around $700 million.

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