Call for Education Reform

The state's leading business and chamber association says higher education reform is critical to continued prosperity in Texas. The Texas Association of Business says in less than 10 years over half of all new jobs will require at least some college education. Pat Hernandez has more.

It's estimated that over 30-percent of Texans aged 25-34 hold an associates degree or higher. According to the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of major U.S. corporations, by 2018, almost half
of all new jobs will require at least a bachelor's degree and more than 60% will require some college education.

Bill Hammond heads the Texas Association of Business. He says Governor Rick Perry and state lawmakers have done well to create a business-friendly environment despite the national recession. But he says institutions of higher education need to do a better job to increase graduation rates to maintain the viability of the economy.

"Unfortunately today in Texas, only about 22-percent of high school graduates are actually considered to be career or college ready, because it's not just about going to UT, it's about being ready to enter the market place, even when you don't necessarily have post secondary, but you'd be in the position where you could be trained, learn a skill, and become a contributing member of the economy."

Hammond says the TAB has produced a report for state lawmakers, reform priorities that focus on updates to state funding models, and changes to developmental or remedial education.

"We're traveling the state talking about these issues, and trying to build support within the business and other communities, to bring about these changes. We're also working with the governor's business council, and we're gonna be working very hard this session to try to get these things enacted."

More information on these proposals can be found at www.txbiz.org.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...