Businesses tell State Leaders it's time to focus on education
(Nov. 15, 2017) The message was loud and clear from notable business leaders at today's House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness meeting. Among those providing testimony to the committee chaired by Rep. Byron Cook were Mark Cuban, Ross Perot Jr., Dr. Ray Perryman and Jim Lites.
It was clear that education is the critical component of long-term economic success. Testimony was given across the education spectrum. It was pointed out the necessity for early childhood intervention programs to give all students the best possible start to their educational career. It was also pointed out that Texas needs a Tier One Research University to steer innovation and help create jobs of the future. One comment from Tom Luce was of particular interest. He stressed the need for support of community colleges as they are a key driver for workforce development.
Cuban concurred on education as he emphasized human creative capital should be our greatest resource. We should be a destination for the best and brightest to flourish in Texas. He also talked about technology and the impact it will have on the way we live, work, travel, communicate, and interact with the world. He said," We don't live in a world we were born into. Not seeing change is short-sighted."
His investments are focused on tech companies, particularly those working on artificial intelligence. And those companies need talent. That lead to another frequent topic from those who testified - discriminatory legislation (AKA the bathroom) has no place in our state. From Ross Perot Jr., to Cuban, to Jim Lites and many others, they were adamantly opposed to any legislation that is discriminatory in nature and does not address real issues.
The House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness was formed by Speaker Joe Straus who charged them with learning and creating recommendations for the next legislative session. It is refreshing to see our state leaders listening to business' concerns. They also seemed very open to the understanding we must find a way to fund education for long-term sustainability.
The next committee meeting is slated for December 5 at 10 a.m. click here for more details.