AUSTIN - District 8 State Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) announced her retirement Monday, effective at the end of her current term, which runs through the beginning of January 2013.

It has been my honor to serve the State of Texas and all the citizens of the many communities I have represented for almost two decades, said Shapiro in a press release. I am excited about the future and will continue with my passion for improving our state's public schools, community colleges and universities.

Shapiro made her first bid for state senate in 1992, winning election to a district stretching from Collin County to Smith County. Over the years, her district was consolidated to suburbs in Collin and north Dallas Counties.

She authored and passed legislation including Ashley's Laws that help protect children from sexual predators, the Texas Mobility Fund, and the state's Emerging Technology Fund.

A former teacher, Shapiro also passed education legislation calling for college and career readiness, ending the TAKS test and replacing it with End-of-Course exams, and school accountability standards.

My parent's came to the United States in search of the American dream, and I lived it, Shapiro said in the release. I entered public service as a Plano City Council member, then Mayor. I entered the Texas Senate, with a desire to promote opportunity and to make a difference in the lives of everyday people. It has been humbling to serve in the state legislature with so many outstanding men and women from all across our great state. I am leaving public service, knowing that I have given my best to hopefully make Texas better.

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