State Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) was appointed by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick as the new Chairman of the Senate Public Education Committee in Austin on January 23, 2015.
Taylor served on the Senate Education Committee during the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature under Patrick, who was then the state senator who headed up the Public Education Committee. Taylor authored two pieces of proposed education legislation with Patrick, according to the Texas Tribune. One was the pro-school choice “parent trigger” Senate Bill 1263.
This bill would have made it easier for the state to close or convert failing campuses into charter schools if enough parents petitioned them to do so. The other bill was similar to House Bill 5, the law that was enacted as the state’s current public high school “college and career ready” graduation requirements.
In a press release issued by his office, Taylor said, “I’m honored by this appointment and I look forward to continuing to bring education into the 21st century. Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick have recently emphasized their commitment to improving the public education system in Texas and I am proud to join them in making education a top priority this session.”
He also stated, “The time has come for greater accountability and productivity in our children’s education. I intend to look for solutions wherever they may be found and will explore new and innovative ways to enhance our ability to deliver an effective education.”
Breitbart Texas reached out to Taylor’s office and spoke with a representative who advised that the Senator looks forward to discussing those education priorities in greater detail once the committee is fully assembled.
Taylor represents Senate District (SD) 11, a voting area comprised of parts of Brazoria, Galveston and Harris Counties. Before his election to the Texas Senate in 2012, Sen. Taylor served five terms in the Texas House of Representatives. Taylor was also reappointed as a member of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee.
Eddie Lucio, Jr., a Democrat representing Senate District 27, was reappointed as Senate Education Committee Vice Chair. The Lt. Governor also appointed to the education committee Paul Bettencourt (R-SD 7), Donna Campbell, (R-SD 25), Sylvia Garcia (D-SD 6), Don Huffines (R- SD 16), Lois Kolkhorst (R-SD 18), Jose Rodriguez (D-SD 29), Kel Seliger (R-SD 31), Van Taylor (R-SD 8) and Royce West (D-SD 23).
Campbell, Lucio, Seliger, and West all served on the Senate Committee on Education during the 83rd Legislature. Campbell and West are listed as the co-authors of SB 1263.
Lt. Governor Patrick is a staunch supporter of school choice. As part of his inauguration speech on January 20, he said, “We must also continue the reforms we began last session when I served as Education Chair to continue to focus on preparing students for work and college by putting emphasis on job training, we must ensure every student is at reading level by the 4th grade, and we must ensure that schools follow the laws we pass. Last year we passed a law on a bi-partisan basis keeping Common Core out of Texas. We need to keep the Federal government out of our schools.”
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