Appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, Mike Morath took office as Commissioner of Education in January 2016 and was unanimously confirmed by the Texas Senate (85th Legislature) in March 2017.
As Commissioner, he heads the Texas Education Agency, which oversees pre-kindergarten through high school education for more than five million students enrolled in both traditional public schools and charter schools. He has worked to focus the state agency on his four priorities including: Recruiting, Supporting, and Retaining Teachers and Principals; Building a Foundation of Math and Reading; Connecting High School to Career and College; and Improving Low-Performing Schools. The Commissioner is committed to improving outcomes for all students across our state.
Prior to becoming the state’s Education Commissioner, Morath served on the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees for more than four years. During that time, he focused on academic improvements. And by his final year on the board, DISD had seen improvement in various areas including rise including kindergarten readiness, math proficiency and graduation rates.
A strong advocate of public education, Commissioner Morath graduated from Garland High School in the Garland Independent School District. And thanks to the great public school education he received in Texas, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, summa cum laude, from George Washington University in two-and-a-half years.
While starting his first company, Commissioner Morath was asked to teach an advanced computer science class at his high school alma mater after the previous teacher resigned suddenly. He taught through the school year until a permanent teacher was hired and remains amazed at how difficult it is to teach.
With a belief system that continually calls him to serve others, Commissioner Morath has participated in numerous volunteer activities, including church Missions Team, schools and juvenile justice facilities and serving as a mentor Big Brother. While in Dallas, he helped organize a trip to orphanages in southern India to set up clean running water systems, and volunteered at an eye clinic in rural Mexico, where he met another volunteer, Dr. Laura Vondra, who is now his wife. They are the proud parents of two daughters and two sons.