This summer Gov. Rick Perry will appoint a new education commissioner who will immediately face enormous problems and competing demands.
The state's much-criticized new standardized testing regime was suspended this year. School districts are suing the state over funding. And parents are irate over school budget cuts. The new hire will also have to balance the governor's policy of frugality with school administrators' demands that he or she represent their needs in Austin.
The Texas Association of Business hopes the new commissioner will enforce strict accountability on schools and students. Education advocates hope to a better understanding of how schools work and what they need.
Observers also believe the courts will declare the school funding system unconstitutional, and the new Legislature will bring big changes.