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Senate Committee on Higher Education - 86th R.S. (2019)

Committee Members
Brandon Creighton, Chair
Royce West, Vice Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Dawn Buckingham
Beverly Powell
Larry Taylor
Kirk Watson
Judith Zaffirini
  • Community College Service Areas: Review the capacity of Texas community colleges to meet the goals of 60X30TX. Determine whether community college taxing districts, service areas, and geographic areas are aligned to meet the needs of students and communities throughout the state. Consider the fiscal impact of and recommend effective funding strategies for dual credit, and distance and online learning for community college districts.
  • Data Transparency: Explore methods to improve data sharing and transparency among state agencies, school districts and charter schools, and higher education institutions. Consider best practices to increase the ability of high schools and higher education institutions to support student post-secondary access and degree completion and how to provide policymakers with data on each. Recommend methods of integrating existing data systems at the K-12 and higher education levels to provide real-time support and direction for students.
  • Facility Needs: Review the infrastructure formula for general academic institutions, evaluating the current facility needs, as well as the projected needs based upon anticipated enrollment growth. Consider methods of how state funds can be best used in partnership with funds of university systems and private and local government funds. Recommend whether a rolling review of higher education facilities and funding would provide the state with a better method of addressing facility issues.
  • Adult Learner Students: Examine existing innovative programs in higher education institutions that assist non-traditional students in completing a degree or credential, including first-time adult learners, re-enrolling students, first generation students, working adults, and at-risk students. Provide recommendations on methods the state can use to partner with higher education institutions to expand successful programs throughout the state.
  • Formula Funding Review: Review funding formulas for general academic institutions to ensure formulas support the individual mission of institutions and their students. Consider and make recommendations on potential improvements to the formulas to better meet the needs of students and institutions.
  • Health Institution Formula Funding Review: Review the mission-specific formulas created by the 86th Legislature for The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and make recommendations on whether the mission-specific formulas should be expanded.
  • Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

    • SB 16 86th R.S., relating to a student loan repayment assistance program for certain full-time peace officers in this state;

    • SB 25 86th R.S., relating to measures to facilitate the transfer, academic progress, and timely graduation of students in higher education;

    • SB 1757 86th R.S., relating to student loan repayment assistance under the math and science scholars loan repayment program. Examine other methods and make recommendations to promote and expand teaching as a profession in Texas;

    • HB 3808 86th R.S., relating to measures to facilitate the timely graduation of an attainment of marketable skills by students in public higher education. Consider and recommend methods to increase work-study and apprenticeship programs throughout the state; and

    • SB 810 (85th Legislature), relating to open educational resources. Report on the effectiveness of the Open Educational Resource Grant Program on college textbook affordability.

Senator Zaffirini appointed 3/10/2020, replacing Senator Watson.
Press release, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, 3/10/2020.

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