By Pilar Arias
Former Texas Gov. Mark White, a Democrat who championed public education reforms, including the landmark “no-pass, no-play” policy for high school athletes, has died. He was 77.
His wife confirmed he died Saturday, although she didn’t know the cause of death.
White served as governor from 1983 until 1987. The education policies approved during his single term included pay raises and competency tests for teachers, class size limits for elementary schools and the state’s high school basic skills graduation test.
White also pushed through a $4 billion tax hike to help pay for schools and highways. The no-pass, no-play legislation was an unpopular move that had to survive a challenge at the state Supreme Court. White was defeated in 1986 by Republican Bill Clements and lost another election bid in the 1990 Democratic primary.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released a statement saying White gave up time from his family and his career to make the Lone Star State a better place. The two had met in the early 90s.