Greeting the State Board of Education and its new several new faces on Friday, Gov. Rick Perry echoed the State of the State address he gave Tuesday, calling for the creation of more public charter schools, a scholarship program that gives students in low-performing schools the choice to attend a different one, and the addition of more high school career and technology classes.
"Students have different goals after graduation," he said. "Texas' academic future will be built on the flexibility necessary to serve those different students."
Both speeches this week mark a shift in focus for Perry, who has tended to concentrate more on higher education initiatives in the past.
Several lawmakers, including the chairmen of the Senate's higher and public education committees, Kel Seliger and Dan Patrick, have offered legislation restructuring graduation requirements to make more options available for students who want to pursue technical or career skills.
On Friday, Perry also offered a word of advice to the seven new members on the 15-person Board of Education.
"Relax," he said, acknowledging that they had a difficult job to do. "You are dealing with the two things most precious to people: their children and their money."