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Texas Democratic Party Honors the Legacy of Governor White


[Photo from New York Times]

Austin, TX -- Texas Democrats lost a legend, Governor Mark White. His drive to reform the education system cost him time in the governor’s office, but he was inspired to “do right and risk the consequences,” like his hero Sam Houston once said. This afternoon, he will lie in state in the Capitol rotunda so Texans can pay their respects. 

Investing In Our Children And Teachers:

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[Photo from Houston ISD]

White passed landmark education reforms, including teacher pay raises and limits on class sizes. He passed “no pass no play” which made sure that kids had to pass their classes in order to participate in extracurricular activities. This was an unpopular measure in a state that worships football, but White persisted, “Let’s be real: Anyone who can study a playbook can study a textbook. Americans didn’t get to the moon on a quarterback sneak.” Governor White was willing to tell his fellow Texans what they didn’t always want to hear, he challenged our state to invest in our children.  

Building A Diverse Economy

The Texas economy during the early and mid-1980s was volatile. The price of oil declined and pushed Texas into a recession. This led Governor White to take the first steps in developing a more diverse Texas economy and attract new industries to the state. His forward thinking helped Texas compete with Silicon Valley in the high-tech industry and made the Texas economy less reliant on the ups and downs of oil.

A Legacy of Service to Texas

In a recent interview, Governor White lamented the hyper-partisanship in America today, but said, “I never give up on this state, on this country. That’s what you learn after being in politics as long as I have. If you give up, then you’re part of the problem.” Even after White’s term as Governor ended, he remained active in Texas issues for the rest of his life. True to his word, he never gave up on serving his fellow Texans. [Houston Chronicle, August 7, 2017]

Read the full editorial, “White sought to make life better for all Texans” in the Houston Chronicle

More on the Legacy of Governor Mark White:

  • “Mark White, Texas governor who championed public education, dies at 77” (New York Times)

  • “Mark White showed rare courage, selfless vision as Texas governor” (Waco Tribune-Herald)

  • “Mark White, Texas governor in the 1980s, dies at 77” (Washington Post)

  • “Former Democratic Texas Governor Mark White dies at 77” (USA Today)

  • “Mark White did what was right and paid the price” (Corpus Christi Caller Times)

  • “Former Texas governor Mark White, education reformer, dead at 77” (Reuters)

  • “Gov. Mark White was a man of vision and guts” (Fort Worth Star Telegram)

  • “White sought to make life better for all Texans” (Houston Chronicle)

  • “Former Texas Gov. Mark White dead at 77” (KHOU)

  • “Former Texas Gov. Mark White dies at age 77” (Dallas News)

  • “Former Texas Gov. Mark White dead at 77” (Texas Tribune)

  • “Education Governor Mark White dead at 77” (Texas Monthly)

  • “Texas officials, friends react to former Gov. Mark White’s death” (Statesman)

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Tariq Thowfeek
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