The Honorable Kent Grusendorf
Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Education Freedom
The Honorable Kent Grusendorf is the Senior Fellow in the Foundation’s Center for Education Freedom.
Grusendorf was born near Abilene in Stanford, Texas, grew up in Waco and went to Arlington to attend college with only a band scholarship and $90 in his pocket. He spent most of his professional life in Arlington as a businessman and successful entrepreneur. Three months after graduating from college he started his own business, in the aerospace industry, and has been an independent businessman ever since. In 1986 he and friends started a bank, now known as Southwest Securities FS Bank, where he served as Chairman of the Board through much of the banking crisis of the 1990s.
He represented Arlington for 20 years, 1987-2007, in the Texas Legislature where his primary interest and focus was education. In his freshman term, due to his prior service on the State Board of Education, he was viewed as a leader on education issues. Through his appointments, by three governors and three House Speakers, to the House Public Education Committee and various Select Committees, he played a significant role in crafting legislative responses to the Edgewood I, Edgewood II, Edgewood III, Edgewood IV, and West Orange Cove school finance court decisions.
On the national level he was first appointed to the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) by Governor Clements. He was reappointed to the SREB by Governors Bush and Perry and also served on the SREB’s Executive Committee. Grusendorf also served a term as Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Education Task Force. During his last two terms in the Texas Legislature he served as chairman of the House Public Education Committee. During his tenure in the Texas Legislature he carried education accountability/improvement initiatives for four governors: Clements, Richards, Bush, and Perry.
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