The first time Jon Brumley was asked to serve on what became known as the Perot Committee, charged with overhauling Texas education in 1983, the Fort Worth oilman had to say no.
"My boss didn't want me to do it, so I didn't," Brumley said in a recent interview. Then the Texas Legislature passed the landmark House Bill 72 in 1984 and charged a reconstituted State Board of Education with implementing the contentious measure.
"Gov. [Mark] White called me back to ask me to chair it, and this time I didn't ask my boss. I just said I'd do it," said Brumley, 73.
The 1984 legislation produced several significant reforms, including "no-pass, no-play," statewide student testing, more pay and testing for teachers, and a revamped public school funding formula.
Brumley's involvement in that process is among the contributions cited by the Exchange Club in selecting the veteran businessman as recipient of its Golden Deeds award, to be presented tonight.
The award was established in 1924 to recognize an individual or group for "interest in the progress and development of the City of Fort Worth."
Brumley's citation notes his business and education contributions, as well as leadership during a five-year effort, culminating in 1985, to merge the city's two children's hospitals into what today is Cook Children's Health Care System.