"It's critical that Texas gets it right on these issues. We must continue to supply an educated workforce, so that our existing employers can keep expanding and new employers keep relocating here," Branch said. "I'm grateful to the Speaker for the opportunity to work on these important issues with such a highly qualified group of members."
Additional members serving on the committee will be Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston) as Vice Chair, Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), Rep. Rob Eissler (R-The Woodlands), Rep. Helen Giddings (D-Dallas), Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City), Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), and Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton).
The select committee will focus on several aspects of higher and public education financing. Hearings will cover a review of state programs to increase student achievement, and the alignment of funding for public and higher education programs. The committee is also charged with developing ways to better leverage and appropriate federal money to meet the state's obligations under the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan.
"In the face of rising expectations, improving college and workforce readiness for our students is immensely important for increasing Texas' competitiveness in the global market," Craddick said. "I'm very pleased that Dan has agreed to serve as Chair and these representatives have agreed to serve Texas in this capacity."
Texas is the nation's leading exporter, and would rank among the world's top 10 economies if it were an independent country. The state also boasts one of the nation's fastest growing populations. There are currently 4.5 million students in K-12 and approaching 1.2 million attending post-secondary learning institutions.
"In a knowledge-based economy, an educated workforce is, perhaps, our most important 'infrastructure.' It’s critical that our high schools and institutions of higher education are developing bright, creative minds to compete effectively around the world. I look forward to starting our work," Branch said.
Rep. Branch is in his third-term representing House District 108, which includes Downtown, Uptown, Near East and North Dallas, including the Town of Highland Park and the City of University Park. In addition to his service in the Legislature, Dan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, a former President of The Dallas Assembly and a former Chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority. He is an attorney and Shareholder at Winstead PC, one of Texas' largest law firms, with offices in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, The Woodlands and Washington, DC.