We’re at a pivotal moment in Texas’ history. Our state needs a leader who will fight every day for all hardworking Texans and to fulfill the promise of a better tomorrow for them and their children.
No conversation about the future of Texas can begin without a discussion about public education. It should not be the exception that a Texas child can make his way up and out of poverty through education. It should be the rule.
Demographer Steve Murdock’s research shows that by 2020, over 60 percent of Texas jobs will require some kind of training or education beyond high school, yet our children are coming up in an education system that is failing them, one in which a growing number of our adult population doesn’t even have a high school diploma.
At the same time, Texas’ college tuition costs and student debt are skyrocketing, making college less accessible, keeping individual dreams unrealized and leaving companies across the state without the trained workforce that they need. But if we get this right, we can put $190 billion into our economy, increase family incomes by $120 billion, and create more than a million new jobs right here in Texas.
And I have a plan to put us on that path:
First, we must implement quality, full-day Pre-K for every child, so that they are better prepared for success in school.
Second, we’ve got to get out of teachers’ way and let them test less and teach more. Our kids need to prepare for the future, not just the next test.
Third, we need to invest in our schools and teachers because that’s an investment in our kids – one we should never be slashing.
Fourth, we’ve got to make college more accessible and affordable by doubling the number of college-credit hours available to high school students and by doubling the number of early college high schools throughout the state.
Once they are off to a good start, confident students become successful ones who become the trained workforce of tomorrow to fill the jobs of our 21st century economy.
Creating a successful workforce through better investment in our human infrastructure must be priority number one. But we will also need to secure our physical infrastructure in order for Texas to lead in the future. There is not a business leader, farmer, factory worker or shipping company that does not know we are holding back unrealized potential to grow the Texas economy because of the failure of current state leaders to support our transportation and water systems.
Short-sighted leaders are jeopardizing our economic future, and Texas families are spending over $6,000 of their hard-earned money every year on gas that is wasted while they are stuck in traffic and on repairing their vehicles from the damage caused by our roads.
I support solutions that would create needed investments in transportation and water, like the ballot initiative to create a $2 billion revolving fund for water projects and like the ballot initiative that voters will be presented with in November to secure more Rainy Day funding for our growing transportation needs.
But, those solutions in isolation are not sufficient to solve our economic needs.
No Texan’s economic outlook would be complete without paying respect where respect is due. And that’s to the bountiful energy resources available to us in this state. Texas’ energy industry helps build our schools, boosts our infrastructure, creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and fuels our nation. I will make sure our energy partners – whether they be in the oil and gas, wind and solar – have the support they need to continue to succeed.
My plan will help our energy industry remain a leader in innovation and technological advancement – all with the goal of helping to lower families’ energy bills and to grow Texans’ long-term prosperity.
Like I did as a member of the Fort Worth City Council, I will support capturing our mineral interests while making sure all hardworking Texans benefit from our energy resources.
Texas is as successful as we are right now because of what is happening in the oil and gas arena. We have the benefit of increased revenues that can be used to invest in education, transportation and water infrastructure because of the success of our energy partners. Any Governor who wouldn’t fully embrace and support the continued prosperity that comes from growth in that arena would be doing a disservice to this state.
Economic Development Tools
When I was on the Fort Worth City Council and chaired its Economic Development Committee, I made sure that our economic development funds worked for the people of Fort Worth. I was a leader in bringing thousands of jobs to our city and I worked to develop meaningful accountability mechanisms to hold our private partners to their promises of investment and job creation.
As our Governor, I will continue my record of using sound economic tools to grow investment and create jobs in this state. But make no mistake, I will also ensure that those tools are being used responsibly. I am proud to have passed a bill that will audit the Texas Enterprise Fund to ensure that the $500 million in taxpayer dollars that have been given from that fund have done their intended work, attracting businesses and growing jobs.
Under my leadership, Texans will know that the Texas Enterprise Fund is working for them because I will devote part of it to improving career opportunities for hardworking Texans.
Today, Texas women are paid on average $8,000 less a year than men. This affects hardworking Texans’ ability to buy a car, save for their children’s education or put money away for retirement.
I believe that people should get paid according to what they do, not who they are, and that a full day’s work is worth a full day’s pay, no matter your gender. I am proud to have championed a bill to end the inequality that women are experiencing in the workplace. As governor, I will sign the Texas Equal Pay Act and ensure that women get paid the same as men for the same work.
We have the ability to fund the growing needs of this state if we put our priorities where they belong. As governor, my priorities will be our students, our transportation and water needs.
My whole life, I have seen how mothers and fathers sacrifice day in and day out to give their children a better life.
When I say that Texas needs full-day Pre-K education – that that investment wouldn’t just boost our economy but that it would help parents and our children, I am saying it because I have been through it. When I say that we need to make college more accessible and affordable for every single Texan, I am saying it because education lifted me up out of hard times.
When I say that we need more job-training programs, I am saying it because I have sat down with energy leaders and other industry leaders who have said they need more skilled workers.
When I say that we need to secure our infrastructure, I am saying it because I have met with companies to discuss the need for infrastructure investment that will allow them to move goods efficiently and their employees to get to work on time.
I have fought for all hardworking Texans – not just some – throughout my career because the promise of Texas says no one gets left behind or counted out; that with hard work, grit and perseverance, where you start does not have to determine how far you go.
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