Back-to-school means different things for different families. In Texas, this time of year brings the traditional joys of watching our youth put on football pads to engage in friendly, but serious competition. That same competitive spirit also should be encouraged in the classroom.
As the new academic year gets underway, remember parents and grandparents are our children's greatest coaches and teammates. Encouraging our kids to stay in school, excel in their studies and pursue higher education not only benefits them as individuals, but also all of Texas.
Dr. Ray Perryman, a nationally recognized economist, concluded that through the enrollment and graduation of an additional 630,000 college students by 2015, Texas will experience an increase in total expenditures throughout the economy of $489 billion; an increase in the state's Gross Domestic Product of $149 billion; and an increase in personal income of $122 billion. The good news is, we are getting close to meeting this goal. Since the year 2000, we've increased college enrollment in Texas by 401,000.
Texas' current economic climate, which has received rave reviews in Fortune Magazine and CNN, can also be attributed to our educated and hard-working, results-driven workforce. As we send our children back to school this fall, let's remind them that competing in the classroom is as important as competing on the field. Valuable life lessons are learned in the classroom and on the field of play, and good grades are a win-win for all Texans.