Beyond 2000: Books, Bytes, and Beginnings

Texas State Government

Vision, Mission, and Philosophy


From Vision Texas: The Statewide Planning Elements for Texas State Government

Governor George W. Bush

February, 2000.

Together, we can make Texas a beacon state:

  • a state where our children receive an excellent education so they have the knowledge and skills for the 21st Century;
  • a state where people feel safe in their communities, have access to equal justice, and all people know the consequences of committing a crime are swift and sure;
  • a state where our institutions encourage jobs and economic opportunity;
  • a state where each resident accepts responsibility for his or her behavior; and
  • a state where our people - our greatest resource - are free to achieve their highest potential.

As I have said before, I envision a state where it continues to be true that what Texans can dream, Texans can do.


The mission of Texas state government is to support and promote individual and community efforts to achieve and sustain social and economic prosperity for its citizens.

The Philosophy of Texas State Government

State government will be ethical, accountable, and dedicated to serving the citizens of Texas well. State government will operate efficiently and spend the public's money wisely. State government will be based on four core principles that will guide decision-making processes.

Limited and Efficient Government

Government cannot solve every problem or meet every need. State government should do a few things and do them well.


Local Control

The best form of government is one that is closest to the people. State government should respect the right and ability of local communities to resolve issues that affect them. The state must avoid imposing unfunded mandates.


Personal Responsibility

It is up to each individual, not government, to make responsible decisions about his or her life. Personal responsibility is the key to a just society. State employees, too, must be accountable for their actions.


Support for Strong Families

The family is the backbone of society and, accordingly, state government must pursue policies that nurture and strengthen Texas families.

Texas state government should serve the needs of our state but also be mindful of those who pay the bills. By providing the best service at the lowest cost and working in concert with other partners, state government can effectively direct the public's resources to create a positive impact on the lives of individual Texans. The people of Texas expect the best, and state government must give it to them.

Texas State Government

Priority goals and benchmarks from Vision Texas

Education (public schools):

To ensure that all students in the public education system learn to read at grade level by the end of the third grade, continue reading at grade level, demonstrate exemplary performance in foundation subjects, and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be responsible and independent Texans.


Percent of students from third grade forward who are able to read at or above grade level.

Percent of students who achieve continued mastery of the foundation subjects of reading, English language arts, math, social studies, and science.

Education (higher education):

To provide an affordable, accessible, and high quality system of higher education that prepares individuals for a changing economy and workforce and that furthers the development and application of knowledge through research and instruction.


Percent of Texans with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Percent of adult population with a vocational/technical certificate or degree.

Health and human services:

To reduce dependence on public assistance through an efficient and effective system that promotes the health, responsibility, and self-sufficiency of individuals and families.


Percent of people with functional limitations successfully rehabilitated with improved economic self-sufficiency.

Public safety and criminal justice:

To aid communities in times of need, police public highways, and protect Texans from crime by holding individuals accountable for their unlawful actions through swift and sure punishment.


Juvenile violent crime arrest rate.

Adult violent crime arrest rate.

Percent of Texas communities covered by current disaster prevention / recovery plans.

Economic development:

To foster economic opportunity, job generation, and capital investment by promoting a favorable business climate, preparing the workforce for productive employment, and supporting infrastructure development.


Median household income.

Number of new small businesses created.

General government:

To support effective, efficient, and accountable state government operations.


Total state spending per capita.

State and local taxes per capita.


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Agency Strategic Plan Table of Contents

Texas State Library Vision, Mission, and Philosophy

Page last modified: July 1, 2011