AUSTIN, Texas – Kicking off the Second Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature will be one of the first public addresses by the newly appointed Commissioner of Education, Dr. Shirley J. Neeley. Her comments will open the day’s examination of school finance reform.

The Policy Orientation, being held January 28 and 29 at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, is being hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The event has drawn a standing-room only audience and registration is now limited to waiting lists.

“We’re honored that Commissioner Neeley and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst are joining us for this important event,” said Michael Quinn Sullivan, vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Governor Rick Perry is speaking at the Jan. 29 lunch.

The panel discussions on the first day will include examinations of tax reforms, education reform and school choice. In addition, the first public presentation will be made of the Foundation’s recently commissioned tax model. The model will help forecast the economic impact of various tax strategies.

Other panelists participating on the first day include:

  • State Rep. Kent Grusendorf
  • State Rep. Talmadge Heflin
  • State Rep. Carl Isett
  • State Rep. Glenn Lewis
  • Catherine Clark, Texas Association of School Boards
  • Anne Dunkelberg, Center for Public Policy Priorities
  • Caroline Hoxby, Harvard University
  • Harrison Keller, Office of the Speaker
  • Dick Lavine, Center for Public Policy Priorities
  • Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
  • Paul Peterson, Hoover Institution
  • Drew Scheberle, Texas Business and Education Coalition
  • David Tuerck, Beacon Hill Institute
  • Richard Vedder, Ohio University “Like last year, our goal is to ensure attendees hear the various ideas and options available – whether the topic is school finance, water, health care or telecommunications,” added Sullivan, noting just some of the topics to be addressed on the event’s second day, Jan. 29.