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Texas Education Commissioner Urges Businesses To Get Involved With Schools

Bill Zeeble
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath was back on home turf talking about notable improvements in public education Monday. He thanked a recent influx of state funding and policy changes from lawmakers. Morath used to be a Dallas school board member.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath says despite recent improvements in public education, it's not enough. At the Dallas Regional Chamber lunch Monday, he urged hundreds of business leaders to get involved with public schools.

Morath said more of the state’s public school kids are getting a better education than ever. And 9 out of 10 graduate from high school. But he said six years after graduation, only 31% have vocational certification or a college degree.

“This system is working as well as it ever has in Texas," Morath said, "but still 31% ain’t good enough. So how do we build on the strengths of our system and drive more improvement faster than we ever have before? This is the central challenge of public education.”

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says one way to improve those numbers – get more businesses involved with the schools. He says the district has learned how.

“Remember when we used to ask businesses to come to high school and help us? And they would show up and we would say ‘Oh,what are you doing here? Oh ok, here, go make copies.' They didn’t come back. So we’ve had to set up this infrastructure where we have a workplace coordinator at every high school and we have a workplace coordinator at the district,” Hinojosa said.

Now Dallas ISD has dozens of business partners who’ve helped thousands of kids through the years.

Commissioner Morath says more of those partnerships are needed to benefit businesses and students simultaneously.