Bill White Launches First TV Ad, Talks About Moving Texas Forward on Education

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Bill White launched his first TV ad today. Titled “Moving Texas Forward”, it focuses on education.

Bill White is the son of San Antonio school teachers. When he announced for Governor, the first issue he talked about was education. The first endorsement he got was from the Texas State Teachers Association. And the one issue, above all others, that Texas Republicans like Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison refuse to talk about in their debates? From Bud Kennedy, of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in Sunday's column titled, “Gubernatorial candidates need serious schooling on the issues

But two debates have produced absolutely zero questions about Texas schools.

Exactly. Texas Republicans don't want to talk about public education in Texas. Bill White does. Read about his vision for education on his website.

Here's his first television ad, which will be running across most areas of the state:

The White campaign also launched a Spanish-language ad today, also on education. It is below the fold…


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Wordy but unimpressive
    How any of us respond to the “education” issue depends on where we are coming from, since pre-K, K-12, and secondary education are all separate issues.  I can't see an expanded pre-K program, for instance, helping with high school dropout rates.  Greater access to college won't help the dropout rates either.

    My own concern is with the public K-12 grades, although my children are no longer affected.  I see mainstream education as key to the future of our economy and our democracy – and I see it failing, miserably.  In Texas, but not only in Texas.  

    White's ideas have the advantage of showing that he cares about the issue – and the disadvantage of showing that he, too, has little clue about what to do.  His primary platform plank for K-12 – bumping up teachers' pay – sounds great to the teachers, but experience across the country shows that some of the highest-spending school districts in the country are among the worst performing.  Success will not come from spending, but about changing community and family attitudes toward school.  In this regard White's ideas for dealing with dropouts is quite good – but unless the quality of teaching is improved, will hardly matter.  I'm mostly concerned about the kids who are not dropping out, and are still getting a terrible education.  

    White and others can talk about “master teachers”, but where will they come from – Texas?  From people who got their education in a state that fails to adequately educate its students?  You can't turn a toilet bowl into a salad bowl.  Although I am a native Texan, I am so grateful that most of my public school years were spent outside of Texas.  Only Mississippi was worse, but at least it was only for ten months.

    Finally, I ask BOR readers – if education is so gosh-darned important to you, why are you so attached to a Lt. Gov. candidate with only a ninth-grade education?    

    • Actually, Dale
      The U-Teach program here in Texas is being touted nationally as a great program. And since I have friends that went to school in Texas, graduated from the UT school, and are now teaching because of that program, your “pulled out of thin air” criticisms are both uninformed and unfounded.

  2. To Dale Napier
    Actually, pre-K does help with dropout rates.  Pre-K has been shown to help children in numerous ways that translate to success in school right away.  Kids who have had pre-K are much less likely to fail in school and thus drop out.

    And last I looked, there's more than 1 candidate for Lt. Gov. on the ticket and the one I'm interested in went to law-school, I believe.

    Why aren't you jumping up and down about a candidate that at least has some ideas about improving our schools, rather than candidates that are happy with the toilet bowl? (as you put it) Or worse yet, would probably be happy to see public education completely dismantled?

  3. obviously
    white's poll numbers show that shami won't even be getting close.

    nice spots.  i especially like that he speaks spanish in the spanish-language spot.

  4. To Dale –
    I was about to write that pre-k does in fact help with dropout rates, and I was going to sing the praises of UTeach, but it looks like two very smart people beat me to the punch.  So ditto what they said.  I think Perry has even called for expanding UTeach to 4 additional universities to help with math & science teacher recruitment.

    • and I should note
      bumping teacher pay does in fact help with recruiting quality teachers.  If you had a math or science degree, you could make much more money going into research or some other field than you could teaching.  You've got to provide an incentive to teach.  Higher pay is a pretty good way to start.

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