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St. Philip's College
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Governmental Relations

Legislative Update - Friday, May 24, 2011

HB 1 State Appropriations

The House and Senate conferees have completed their work and state appropriations for each institution higher education will be known later this week.  Based on mark-up documents, total formula funding for all community colleges is at about $848,767,217 a year.  This figure is closer to the Senate version  that had proposed $866.1 million compared to the House proposal of $777.8 million a year.  Financial aid under the Texas Grant is $555.7 million, a reduction of $55 million, or 9 percent.  Students to be served under the Texas Grant is estimated at 77,300, a drop of 28,700 from the current level.  No funding for enrollment growth.

Special Session

The method of funding public schools has not been finalized by state legislators.  There is speculation of a special session if no agreement is reached on this issue. Last day of the regular legislative session is May 30.

Concealed Hand Guns on Campus Legislation

Did not pass     

Legislative Bills that Have Passed the House & Senate

SB 36 – relating to methods for increasing student success and degree completion at public institutions of higher education.    The THECB shall establish a method for assessing the quality and effectiveness of academic advising services available to students at each institution of higher education.  The THECB shall consult with representatives from institutions of higher education, including academic advisors and other professionals the board considers appropriate.  Method of assessment must: 1) include the use of student surveys; and 2) identify objective, quantifiable measures for determining the quality and effectiveness of academic advising services at an institution of higher education.  Not later than September 1, 2012, the board shall establish a method of assessment as required by this section.  
SB 162 – relating to developing a developmental education plan for students entering public institutions of higher education.  To serve students who require developmental education in an effective and cost-effective manner, the THECB shall develop a statewide plan for developmental education to be provided that: 1) assigns primary responsibility for developmental education to public junior colleges, public state colleges, and public technical institutes; and 2) provides for using technology, to the greatest extent practicable consistent with best practices, to provide developmental education to students.  The developmental education plan must provide for: 1) ongoing training for developmental education program faculty members, tutors, and instructional aides at the institutions or other locations where those persons provide instruction.

Legislative Bills Reported Favorably out of Senate Higher Education Committee

CSHB 992 – prohibits a four year school from counting a dropped class for purposes of six-course limit if the student drops the class while enrolled at a public junior college and the student transferred to a four year school after earning at least 30 semester credit hours or an associate degree.
CSHB 3025 – requires each student enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s degree program at an institution of higher education, to file a degree plan with the institution not later than the end of the second regular semester or term immediately following the semester or term in which the student earned a cumulative total of 45 or more semester credit hours including transfer courses, international baccalaureate courses, and dual credit courses.

Leo Zuniga
Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications