Dewhurst, Patrick to lay out school reforms

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is expected to call for more charter schools in Texas and bolstering classroom accountability on the eve of a new legislative session.

Dewhurst and Republican Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston are set to lay out their education priorities Wednesday at an Austin private school. Patrick is the new head of the influential Senate Education Committee and is a supporter of school vouchers.

Dewhurst has previously said education will be the "hallmark issue" confronting lawmakers when they reconvene next month in the Capitol.

The Legislature slashed more than $5 billion from public schools to balance the budget in 2011. A better economy and likely surplus has education leaders calling for a reversal of those cuts.

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