Texas 2036 founder Tom Luce on education in Texas, and why the business community needs to help

One morning 20 years from now, a doctor at MD Anderson will wake up, get her 6-year-old son ready for school and drive them both to her work. She’ll drop him off downstairs, where there’s a K-12 school funded by area corporations that has a curriculum designed by the likes of Exxon Mobil Corp., Occidental Petroleum, the Texas Medical Center… and teachers.

That’s how Tom Luce, founder of Texas 2036, an economic policy nonprofit, sees the future integration of education and business.

Luce, a lawyer and former assistant secretary of education under President George W. Bush, founded Texas 2036 in 2016, and named it for the upcoming bicentennial of the Republic of Texas. The goal is to provide a road map of policy initiatives that will propel Texas ahead of the blaring red economic warning signs he sees in the next 16 years — a failing education system that will lead to a lack of qualified workers, huge infrastructure projects that need to be completed and rising health care costs, to name a few.