AUSTIN (February 27, 2013)—Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told the Texas Senate Education Committee Wednesday that when it comes to overhauling public education, "You've got to go big or go home."
Bush said expanding charter schools were the "catalytic convertor of our reforms," but he also said states need to embrace teacher merit pay, online learning and high accountability standards.
Bush said Florida increased high school graduation rates and elementary school reading achievement, but added, "if you're going to have great, tough-love policies then you need to fund them."
Texas cut $5.4 billion from public school funding in 2011.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, chairs the committee and backs expanding charter schools in Texas, as well as a "school choice" plan that critics call a voucher scheme.