Tracking the promises of Greg Abbott

Browse the Abbott-O-Meter:

PolitiFact Texas compiled promises that Greg Abbott made during the 2014 campaign and is tracking progress on each one on our Abbott-O-Meter. Many of the collected promises showed up in Abbott's "Bicentennial Blueprint," intially posted online in 2013. That volume, subtitled "Greg Abbott's Policy Plans," describes his desires as recommendations; for the Abbott-O-Meter, we took his recommendations as promises.

On the Abbott-O-Meter, we rate each promise's status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken. (See the About the Abbott-O-Meter page for more details on our ratings.)

The report card above provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

Promises we’ve rated recently

Allow schools to opt out of state mandates

The Promise:

"Teachers and parents know far better how to educate our children than do a bunch of bureaucrats in Austin or Washington, D.C."

Update September 12th, 2017: Greg Abbott keeps promise to let schools opt out of mandates

Require state elected officials to disclose more about personal sources of income, contracts

The Promise:

"I'm proposing that all state elected officials be required to disclose more about their sources of income and to disclose any contracts they, or their family members, have with state agencies or local government bodies."

Update June 9th, 2017: Lawmakers, in reversal, advance mandate tightening disclosures of personal income, contracts

Focus additional spending on cancer screenings and treatment for low-income Texans

The Promise:

"Because this is strategic spending on certain areas, it should reduce the cost of health care in the state in the long term." Abbott specified his desire to spend $50 million more on women's health care.

Update January 30th, 2017: Abbott keeps vow to spend on cancer screenings, health care for low-income residents

Require school districts with prekindergarten to assess student performance twice annually

The Promise:

Districts would choose methods of assessing prekindergarten students at the start and finish of each school year from a list of approaches developed by the state.

Update January 12th, 2017: Abbott wins compromise on testing pre-kindergarten students

Create Texas Achievement School District to take over worst elementary schools

The Promise:

Schools eligible to be placed in "achievement districts" would consist of the bottom 15 elementary or charter school campuses with an F rating from the state for two straight years.

Update January 12th, 2017: Abbott achieves compromise for Texas 'achievement' school districts

Fund treatment for postpartum depression for low-income mothers

The Promise:

"As a starting point, the coverage period for postpartum doctor visits for the mother under" the Children's Health Insurance Program's perinatal coverage "should be extended from 60 days to up to one year." Abbott calls for spending $3 million more over two years.

Update June 1st, 2016: Lawmakers inactive on Greg Abbott call to expand postpartum depression care

Fund Medicaid by block grants

The Promise:

"The one-size-fits-all approach, mandated from Washington, D.C., and the Medicaid system, does not help Texas address the unique needs of the diverse population we have in this state."

Update April 25th, 2016: Greg Abbott's vow to seek block-grant Medicaid funding unfulfilled

Expand Teach for America in Texas

The Promise:

More Teach for America positions should be supported by the state. Increase funding by $3 million from the existing $12 million every two years

Update December 3rd, 2015: Lawmakers decline to hike Teach for America spending

Rate school campuses on A through F scale; require publication of campus report cards

The Promise:

"Many states have implemented an A through F rating system for individual campuses with great success." Each campus website should show the school's A through F rating and other indicators of success.

Update December 1st, 2015: Abbott won approval of letter grades for individual school campuses

Bar statutorily-dedicated accounts from being used simply to certify the state budget is balanced

The Promise:

"Prohibiting the practice of funds consolidation is a critical reform that will restore truth-in-budgeting. Dedicated accounts should be used only for their intended purpose, not to grow the state budget." Abbott said this change, taking effect in 2023-24, would require lawmakers to send voters a proposed constitutional amendment.

Update September 11th, 2015: Abbott call to bar use of dedicated accounts to balance state budgets goes unheeded

Impose a stricter constitutional spending cap based on population growth and inflation

The Promise:

Texas' current constitutional spending limit "must be strengthened." Imposing a tougher limit would require lawmakers to send voters a proposed constitutional amendment.

Update September 3rd, 2015: Abbott's proposal to tighten spending cap in constitution ran out of gas

Allow parents to petition state to change campus management after two years of poor results

The Promise:

Parents currently cannot seek state intervention until schools have performed inadequately for five years. This should change to two years.

Update August 27th, 2015: Texas parents given sway if a school must reorganize after two years of poor results

Limit state agencies from selling personal information from public records

The Promise:

"I will champion privacy protections that prevent the sale of your personal information unless you expressly agree to it."

Update July 31st, 2015: Abbott vow to leash sale of personal data wasn't legislative winner in 2015

Offer additional aid to school districts with high-quality prekindergarten programs

The Promise:

“Expanding the population of students served by existing state-funded programs without addressing the quality of existing prekindergarten instruction or how it is being delivered would be an act of negligence and waste.”

Update July 27th, 2015: Abbott plan offering aid for quality pre-kindergarten passes into law

Create reading-to-learn academies for fourth- and fifth-grade teachers

The Promise:

Provide $15 million a year to help teachers master tenets of careful, consistent and systematic reading instruction.

Update July 27th, 2015: Abbott's promised 'Reading-to-Learn' academies passed into law