The 84th Texas Legislature and education: What you should know

State legislators convening in January will address several issues impacting Austin Community College and higher education in state. ACC closely follows developments at the Capitol and works with its legislative delegation to ensure the needs of students, employees, and taxpayers are addressed.

Key priorities are summarized below.

Texas Success 5-Point Campaign

ACC is actively engaged in the Texas Success legislative campaign, which promotes success for the state’s 700,000 community college students. The 5-point campaign is a joint effort of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) and the Community College Association of Texas Trustees.

1. Workforce and skills alignment

2. Measuring and funding success

  • Provide $2.011 billion for community and technical college instructional funding as recommended by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Continue the funding strategy implemented during the 83rd legislative session:
    • Core college operations: $50 million for the 2016-17 biennium; $1 million per college district
    • Student success points: 10 percent of the remainder
    • Contact hours: 90 percent of the remainder
  • Fund student success points for the 2016-17 biennium at a rate no less than the rate for the 2014-15 biennium ($185 per student success point). Colleges earn success points as students successfully achieve certain outcomes, such as progressing from a developmental course to a credit course, earning a degree or certificate, or transferring to a university after completing 15 credits.

3. College readiness

  • Continue funding for the New Mathways Project at the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The New Mathways Project is a statewide approach to reforming developmental education.
  • Fund community colleges and school districts to support early college experiences as called for in HB 5 from the 83rd legislative session.
  • Identify policy recommendations to support the implementation of HB 5 provisions, including restructuring of high school curriculum and the creation of new opportunities for collaboration between school districts and community colleges.

4. Transfer and articulation

  • Require the common course numbering system at all public institutions of higher education to ease course transfer (HB 61).

5. Texans in community colleges

Visit the Texas Success website or the TACC legislative resources webpage for more information.

Other Priorities

  • Approval of RN-to-BSN program. ACC is proposing a program that would offer associate degree nursing graduates an affordable, flexible pathway to earn a bachelor of science in nursing – a credential that is increasingly required by healthcare providers. Legislative approval is necessary for ACC to award the bachelor’s degree.

  • Service area changes. ACC and two other community colleges are mutually asking the legislature to change their service area boundaries. Both proposed changes will create more efficient, expanded programs for students across the region:

  • Local control for key issues. The ACC Board of Trustees supports local control for certain issues expected to come before the legislature this session. Local control allows individual colleges to make the best decision for their institution.

For more information, view ACC’s External Affairs Office webpage.

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