Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, made improving early-childhood support in his state a key element of his campaign, and he has kept his promises in that arena, according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman and Politifact,
Keeping track of what politicians promise and what they actually deliver has become a staple in data-driven political reporting. Politifact works with news organizations to track such promises in campaigns across the country. In Abbott’s case, the group is tracking more than 30 campaign promises and came out with a mini-report on July 27 showing that the governor has kept the following five early ed./elementary promises by supporting several bills through the legislative process and then signing them into law.
- Create math achievement academies to train the state’s math teachers. Bill: SB 934 Cost: Still unclear.
- Create literacy achievement academies, which would help teachers in the earliest grades improve their reading instruction. Bill: SB 925 Cost: Still unclear.
- Create “reading-to-learn” academies for 4th and 5th grade teachers to improve their teaching strategies. Bill: SB 972 Cost: $15 million
- Create reading improvement teams of expert teachers who can be deployed to under-performing schools. Bill: SB 935 Cost: $2 million
- Offer additional aid to school districts with high-quality prekindergarten programs. Bill: HB 4 Cost: $118 million
Abbott hasn’t moved on these two other early-education promises, according to Politifact:
- Require school districts offering prekindergarten to assess student performance twice a year.
- Create a Texas Achievement District to take over low-performing elementary and charter schools.
The only other two promises being tracked by Politifact that the governor of Texas has kept so far have to do with expanding gun rights. He signed one bill to allow the open carrying of guns and another to allow guns on college campuses. All told, and across all policy areas, Abbott has kept 13 percent of his promises, broken 15 percent, and 53 percent have not yet been tracked. The remaining promises are “in the works,” according to Politifact.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.