TTR News Center

Governor Abbott Appoints 20 To Texas Early Learning Council

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has appointed 20 to Texas Early Learning Council.Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Katherine Abba, Ph.D., Sarah Abrahams, Courtney Arbour, Travis Armstrong, Ed.D., Weldon Beard, Terrie Breeden, April Crawford, Ph.D., Sam Eng, Alferma Giles, Ph.D., Melissa Horton, Beck Huss-Keeler, Ph.D., Ramah Leith, Jerletha McDonald, Dana McGrath, Jacquie Porter, Julie Richards, Teresa Robledo, Stephanie Rubin, Kierstan Schwab, and June Yeatman to the Texas Early Learning Council for terms to expire at the pleasure of the Governor. Additionally, the Governor named Jacquie Porter chair of the council, and Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott will serve as honorary chair.

The Texas Early Learning Council serves as Texas’ state advisory council as required by the federal Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. The Council utilizes its breadth of stakeholder representation to increase coordination and collaboration across state agencies and local program and service providers in order to improve the quality of and access to early childhood services across Texas. In 2019, the Council will lead a statewide birth-five needs assessment and strategic plan as part of Texas’ Preschool Development Grant project.

Katherine Abba, Ph.D. of Houston is chair of the Department of Education for Houston Community College.

Sarah Abrahams of Austin is a Deputy Associate Commissioner for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Courtney Arbour of Austin is the Interim Deputy Director for the Texas Workforce Commission.

Travis Armstrong, Ed.D. of Graham is the Director of Early Learning for Wichita Falls Independent School District.

Weldon Beard of Nacogdoches is the Director of Head Start and Early Head Start for the Greater East Texas Community Action Program.

Terrie Breeden of Wimberley is the Section 619 Lead Coordinator for the Texas Education Agency.

April Crawford, Ph.D. of Pearland is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Program Implementation for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Children’s Learning Institute.

Sam Eng of Waller is Director of the Texas Asian Peace Officer Association.

Alferma Giles, Ph.D. of Richmond is Director of the Texas Head Start State Collaboration Office at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Children’s Learning Institute.

Melissa Horton of Carrollton is a franchise owner with Primrose Schools and President of the Texas Licensed Child Care Association.

Becky Huss-Keeler, Ph.D. of Houston is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Ramah Leith of Austin is the State Child Health Coordinator for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Jerletha McDonald of Arlington is a licensed home child care center provider and the owner and director of Kiddie Corner Learning Center.

Dana McGrath of Austin is Director of Early Childhood Intervention Program for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Jacquie Porter of Hutto is the Director of Early Childhood Education for the Texas Education Agency.

Julie Richards of Paige is Director of Field Operations for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Teresa Robledo of San Antonio is an early childhood teacher at San Antonio College Early Childhood Center.

Stephanie Rubin of Austin is CEO of the non-profit organization Texans Care for Children.

Kierstan Schwab of Austin is the Executive Director of the Texas Public Broadcasting Association.

June Yeatman of Austin is a lead teacher for the Austin Community College Children’s Lab School.

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Source:: Office of the Governor


Governor Abbott Delivers Remarks At Texas Women’s Hall Of Fame Luncheon

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott today delivered remarks at the Texas Women’s Hall Of Fame Luncheon, hosted by the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women at the Governor’s Mansion, where he recognized the 2018 Hall of Fame honorees for their accomplishments and thanked them for their contributions to the state of Texas. Following his remarks, the Governor joined First Lady Cecilia Abbott to induct the 2018 Hall Of Fame honorees.

“Today, we recognize seven extraordinary women whose strength, perseverance, and passion truly embody what it means to be a Texan,” said Governor Abbott. “Each of these women have left their own unique mark on the Lone Star State, and as we gather today, Texas is better because of their contributions. On behalf of the state of Texas, Cecilia and I thank you for the profound impact you have had on our state and in the lives of so many.”

The 2018 Texas Women’s Hall Of Fame Honorees are:

Former First Lady Laura Bush (Public Service)

Senator Judith Zaffirini (Public Service)

Susan Dell (Philanthropy)

Tammie Jo Shults (Leadership)

Vikki Carr (Arts)

Simone Biles (Athletics)

Sister Elizabeth Anne Sueltenfuss (Education)

Please visit the Governor’s Flickr page to view the photos.

About the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame: Established in 1984 by the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women, the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame includes former First Ladies, teachers, astronauts, Grammy-award-winning musicians, entrepreneurs, and Olympic athletes. The Texas Women’s Hall of Fame accepts nominations biennially and is open to any native or current resident of Texas, living or deceased, who has made significant contributions benefitting the state of Texas. Texas residents submit written nominations, and a panel of judges selects the inductees into the Hall of Fame. A permanent exhibit is housed at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, and currently features the biographies and photographs of all recipients.

About the Texas Governor’s Commission for Women: For over 50 years, the Governor’s Commission for Women has served as a resource and champion for women throughout the state of Texas. Today the Commission specializes in providing leadership through outreach, education, research, and referral services to advance the goals and initiatives of the Office of the Governor and the Office of the First Lady by focusing on: Women-owned Businesses; Education through Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM); Volunteerism; Women and Children’s Health; and Women Veterans and Service Members.

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Source:: Office of the Governor


PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Abbott Sworn In For Second Term

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott was today sworn in for his second term of office as Governor of the state of Texas.Governor Greg Abbott was today sworn in for his second term of office as Governor of the state of Texas.

Please visit the Governor’s Flickr page to view the photos

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Source:: Office of the Governor


Governor Greg Abbott Delivers 2019 Texas Inaugural Speech

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By stephen.chang@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott’s 2019 inaugural speech.**Governor Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks

It’s an honor to take the oath as Governor of the greatest state in America.

We gather today for far more than just an inauguration. Today is the dawn of a transformative session that will usher in a new era. A new era for children, teachers, and taxpayers.

This will happen because of my partners here today: Speaker Bonnen, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and all the members of the house and senate.

It is a blessing to embark upon this mission with Cecilia by my side. A fabulous mother to our wonderful daughter Audrey. She’s a powerful advocate for Texas. And she made history by being the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas.

I can’t let this moment pass without thanking our large and diverse family, especially my father-in-law Bill Phalen. Unfortunately, health prevents the most famous mother-in-law in Texas, mi suegra, Maria de la luz Segura Phalen, from being here today.

I also want to thank my brother Gary and his wife Denise. Gary is a retired Commander in the U.S. Navy. He served our nation for 20 years.

We must never forget we have the freedom to build a better Texas only because of the men and women who served in the U.S. military. If there’s anyone who’s worn the uniform of the U.S. Military, will you please stand or wave your hand so we can thank you for your service.

Now, some people say Texas is at an apex. They rightfully point to the fact that more Texans have jobs today than ever before. In fact, Texans created almost a million new jobs over the past 4 years and we set record lows for unemployment.

Texas remains the unrivaled national leader in agriculture, energy, and exports, and we dominate fields like healthcare, finance, and technology. The Texas brand of opportunity attracts more of our fellow Americans to our state than any other state.

Despite the exceptional heights to which Texas has climbed, I believe we have only risen to the foothills of what we can become. I know we can do even more for our fellow Texans.

We can do more to educate the next generation and keep them safe at school. More to advance our universities to meet the changes sweeping the 21st century. More to rein in the property tax burden on our citizens. More to help our coastal region become resilient to catastrophic storms. More to crack down on human trafficking and the dangerous gangs promoting it.

All of this we can do. All of this we must do, because we live in the greatest state in America and we have an obligation to make it even better.

No doubt Texas has reached an unrivaled economic summit.

But from that perch, it is clear that too many young Texans have difficulty on their own journey to prosperity. Holding them back is an education system that’s not adequate to put our students on the path to excellence that they deserve.

Yes, we are graduating more students from high school than ever before. At the same time, more students are graduating unprepared for college or a career.

Our students deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. Our taxpayers deserve better.

It is time for Texas to deliver real education reform. We don’t have to look far for solutions.

Two years ago, Titche Elementary was one of the worst schools in Dallas. A year later, all that changed. Out of 145 elementary schools, Titche rose from being 132nd to the 2nd best elementary school in Dallas.

Five years ago, Dallas Independent School District had 43 failing campuses. Today, they have just four. And behavior is better. At Titche Elementary, school suspensions dropped by almost 90%. What changed?

A new principal was hired. He brought in highly rated teachers and set clear standards for students. He added people and policies that improved student success.

Know this: Titche Elementary is not an isolated example. Other districts in Texas like in San Antonio, Lubbock, and Pharr-San Juan have achieved similar results using similar strategies.

These achievements were possible because of bold leadership by superintendents and school boards who broke the mold making tough decisions to prioritize student achievement.

We must ensure destiny is not determined by zip code. Students from the most challenging circumstances can perform at the highest levels. But we have to give them the opportunity to succeed.

Success like this will not be achieved just by spending more money. It will be achieved by recruiting and retaining educators who deliver better outcomes for our students.

Today, we must dedicate ourselves to making our schools better than they have ever been.

This session, we must act to pay our best teachers more. We must reward teachers and school districts that achieve results. We must prioritize spending in the classroom, shore up the Teacher Retirement System, and yes, the state will invest more in public education.

The eyes of Texas are upon us. We have the opportunity and the obligation to get this right. We can and we will better fund education.

We will pay our teachers more and reward achievement in the classroom. We will reform a school finance system that robs one district to pay another. We will put our schools on a pathway to having all 3rd graders reading at grade level. We will prepare our high school students for college or a career. And we will do this without a court order.

I want to make this very clear. We will do what no one thought possible. We will finally fix school finance.

While one generation is struggling to climb the ladder of success, others have a ceiling on how high they can go. A ceiling imposed by an archaic property tax system.

A system that punishes families and businesses and prevents younger Texans from achieving their dream of homeownership.

Just a few blocks from here you see cranes operating above sprouting skyscrapers. In the shadow of those giant cranes, businesses are shuttering, unable to keep up with skyrocketing property taxes.

Go a few blocks further and you’ll find residents forced out of their homes. Victims of unaffordable …read more

Source:: Office of the Governor


Governor Abbott Holds Joint Press Conference With Lt. Governor Patrick, Speaker Bonnen

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott today held a joint press conference with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen at the Governor’s Mansion.Governor Greg Abbott today held a joint press conference with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen at the Governor’s Mansion. During the press conference, they discussed their priorities for the 86th legislative session and reaffirmed their commitment to working together to advance solutions to the challenges facing the Lone Star State.

“As we head into the legislative session, Texans can rest assured that we are prepared to work together to take on the challenges facing our state.” said Governor Abbott. “The task ahead of us is clear — we must reform our school finance system, limit the growth of skyrocketing property taxes, and provide greater opportunities for every Texan. I look forward to working alongside Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Speaker Bonnen and all members of the legislature to create an even brighter future for our state.”

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Source:: Office of the Governor


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