Legislative Update - Friday, March 11, 2011
Additional Cuts Proposed for Current Fiscal Year
An additional state revenue shortfall of $4.3 billion during the
CURRENT fiscal year has led to the introduction of HB 4 that enacts
additional cuts for the CURRENT Fiscal Year. The cuts to community
colleges would be $76 million in formula funding reductions. For the
Alamo Colleges, the cut amounts to $6.8 million for the CURRENT Fiscal
Year. This proposed cut is in addition to the state mandated cut of 5
percent last January and 2.5 percent last fall.
Use of Rainy Day Fund
HB 275 has been introduced that would allow the drawing of funds
from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) that would avert
the cuts proposed in HB 4. The cuts proposed in HB 1 would still apply.
Higher Education Outcomes-Based Funding Act (Momentum Points Funding)
CSHB 9 was reported favorably out of committee and will now be
placed on the calendar to be heard before the full House. CSHB 9 would
allow the state to withhold a portion of formula funding to be
reapportioned based on community colleges outcomes such as, the
successful completion of: developmental education in Math, successful
completion of developmental education in English, successfully passing
with a grade of “C” or higher the first college level Math course, the
first college level English course, completion of the first 30 semester
hours, transfer to a four-year college or university after successful
completion of at least 15 semester credit hours and the total number of
associate degrees and certificates awarded.
Alamo Colleges Information Technology and Security Academy (ITSA) Team Recognition
The House and Senate, through House Resolution No. 754 by
Representative Castro and through Senate Resolution No. 385 by Senators
Van de Putte, Uresti, Wentworth, and Zaffirini congratulated a team of
ITSA students that placed first in the inaugural Mayor’s Cyber Cup at
the regional CyberPatriot III competition. The team will now travel to
the national championship in Maryland from March 31 – April 2, 2011.
CyberPatriot III was created to inspire students to pursue careers in
cyber security or in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Members of the group include Clint Sierra (Warren High School),
Lawrence Roberts (Warren High School), Mario Puente III (Brennan High
School), Jose Ricardo Banda (Southwest High School), and Robert Flores,
Jr. (Judson High School).
Higher Education Committee Testimony
Pat Major, District Director of Internal Audit, testified on HB
650 relating to amending the Property Code to include community colleges
that would allow junior colleges to retain property presumed abandoned
and valued at $100 or less. Melissa Weathersby, Director of Corporate
Training & Continuing Education at Northeast Lakeview College,
testified on HB 399 that would require four year universities to offer
personal financial literacy training.
Texas Junior College System
Rep. Jim Pitts filed HB 2440 that would create a Texas Junior
College System office. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
would appoint an executive director that would employ up to 10 full time
employees in this system. The system would oversee all public junior
colleges in the state, establish funding formulas to guide legislature
in the appropriations process to provide state funding that matches the
benefit contributions made by junior colleges. The system would also
formulate a strategic plan, establish common transfer standards between
junior colleges and four-year colleges, oversee dual credit agreements,
represent junior college interests before the legislature and in
negotiations, and provide training to board members and executive staff.
The system would allocate the state’s formula funds and any available
performance funds to junior colleges based on their performance, as well
as all or part of the federal financial aid for public junior colleges.
The system would also recommend changes to junior college district
service areas and taxing district boundaries as necessary. The system
would coordinate with the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas
Education Agency and industry to make recommendations regarding
curriculum alignment in postsecondary workforce education.
Bills to be heard before the House Appropriations Committee on Monday, March 14, 2011
- HB 4 relating to additional cuts for the CURRENT Fiscal year
- HB 275 relating to the use of the Rainy Day Fund to prevent the cuts proposed in HB 4
Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications