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Legislative Update

Legislative Update

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Legislative Update

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  1. Legislative Update 82nd Legislative Session Dennis McMillan October 2011 Leadership Alliance / UTPA

  2. Always start with something funny!

  3. Back in February when HB1 was filed……… • Containing the most drastic higher education cuts in recent memory • Closing four community colleges • Eliminating Texas Grant • Eliminating growth funding • Reducing formula funding

  4. On the day HB1 was filed……… • A bill was filed to allow hunting feral hogs from helicopters • A bill was filed to prescribe penalties for practicing dentistry on livestock if you are not a veterinarian

  5. They went on to file bills………. • To allow Texas sportsmen to “Noodle” catfish in Texas lakes and ponds……. • To make “42” the official domino game of Texas

  6. 82nd Legislative Session plus one Special Session: The regular session went from January to May without passing a state budget Very fast paced toward the latter weeks of the session, but budget issues for public education could not be resolved in time to prevent a special session A special session was held in June considering the budget and a small number of other issues identified by the governor Only 5,873 bills were filed compared to a record 7,324 bills in the last session - with several hundred related to education. 1400 bills went to the governor for signature/veto consideration.

  7. 82nd Legislative Session plus one Special Session: Why the Special Session? Filibuster by Rep. Donna Howard to try to avoid $4 billion cuts to public education on the last day of the regular sessions stalled the appropriations bill and resulted in the special session. The special session focused mostly on public education funding but attempts were made to pass the TSA “pat down” ban, and a sanctuary cities bill. Special legislation cut $4B in public education - changes teacher contracts, allows pay reductions, allows larger class size, allows unpaid furloughs, and reduces the attendance formula. First time since 1949 the Texas legislature has not funded for student population growth (currently growing at 80K students per year). All passed easily because of suspension of the 2/3 majority rule.

  8. End Result? State passed $172B budget. Reduced 8% from prior session Cuts Medicaid and accelerates payments of taxes/fees Cuts higher education by $1B Cut public education by $4B – Texas Ranks: 43rdin high school graduation rates 47th in expenditures per student 45th in SAT scores Dead last in >25 population with HS Diploma

  9. End Result for Higher Education? Cuts higher education by $1B Level formula funding for community colleges CC employees lost a portion medical insurance funding 10% reduction for health related institutions formula 5% reduction for university formula Institutional Enhancement funding cut dramatically Line item projects cut dramatically No funding for enrollment growth No funding for outcomes-based measures

  10. Accessing Current Statutes Go to • Click on “statutes” • Select “Education Code” • Select desired chapter • Scroll to relevant section

  11. Accessing Bills Go to • Click on “bill lookup” • Enter bill number (example, SB93) • Click on “submit” • Select icon for “enrolled” bill

  12. What was going on with Texas Higher Education going into the session? Governor Perry appointed a task force to recommend cost efficiencies – report released July 2010 THECB released legislative recommendations in September 2010 50% of formula appropriated in last session funded with one-time federal stimulus money

  13. Governor Perry’s Cost Efficiencies • Fund student success • Award Texas Grant based on merit • Continue performance based funding for universities focusing on graduation and research • Fund momentum points in community colleges • Statewide articulation • 10% distance education for most programs • Require degree plan in freshmen year • College Readiness / single assessment

  14. Co-Board Recommendations • 10% of university formula for degree completion – total, critical fields, and at risk students • 10% of community college formula for completion – college readiness, English and/or Math, 15 credit hours, 30 credit hours, Associate’s Degree or transfer • Texas Grant – merit based award • 10% Distance Ed • Degree plan freshmen year • Academic progress for exemptions • Statewide articulation / 60 SCH Associate’s Degree

  15. Which Bills Got the VETO HB 992 Would exempts community college credit hours from the excess hour cap imposed at the university level SB 40 Would redefine the role of Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation

  16. What Did Not Make It HB 1420 Exempts students at public technical institutes, public junior colleges, or public state colleges from “six drop rule.” HB 136 Would have repealed six-drop and allowed colleges to set their own drop limit Concealed weapons (several bills) 118 “Arizona” style anti-immigration bills died in committee or failed to come up for a vote on the floor – Sanctuary Cities bill was filed in Special Session but did not pass

  17. What Did Not Make It HB 375 Authorizes the establishment of one veterans resource center in institutions of higher education in each of the 10 higher education regions across the state. HB 766 Exempts textbooks for university and college courses from the sales tax. HB 946 Requires IHEs to report to the Coordinating Board any course included in the common course numbering system that has been added to or removed from the institution's list for the current academic year.

  18. What Did Not Make It HB 1193 Requires that the high school grade point average be based only on core curriculum high school courses; grades in electives may not be used in the GPA calculation. HB 845 Requires that a standard method be developed to give the same weight to each honors course, advanced placement, international baccalaureate, or dual credit courses when calculating a high school student’s GPA. Also stipulates that GPA computation must be used for automatic college admission purposes. HB 1268 Stipulates that in developing the standard method to be used, the commissioner of education may not give additional weight to international baccalaureate courses.

  19. What Did Not Make It SB 1728: Amends the Texas Success Initiative program that assesses student readiness to perform freshman level course work and provides developmental education courses to appropriate students. (Would have mandated all developmental education to the community colleges – SB 162 did go to the governor) SB 568 Provides the ability for a public or private institution of higher education to obtain criminal history of those students applying to reside in on-campus housing. SB 945 Authorizes a public junior college to award an associate degree to a student enrolled in a four-year public institution of higher education who previously attended the junior college when certain criteria are met.

  20. What Happened to Guns on Campus? Concealed Weapons bills were introduced in both chambers In the House there were five bills introduced with many co-sponsors (HB86, 354, 750, 1167, 2178) Super Majority in House (101 Republicans and 49 Democrats) – most thought concealed weapons would be easy passage Senator Wentworth introduced the senate version

  21. What Happened to Guns on Campus? Senator Wentworth could not muster enough votes in Senate bring issue to a vote Wentworth tacked bill on to Zaffirini funding bill Zaffirini withdrew her bill rather than let it go forward with weapons amendment Wentworth added his bill on to Ogden bill and concealed weapons finally passed in the Senate In the House amendment was ruled unrelated and was stripped from the bill

  22. Financial Aid Funding • Texas Grant funding reduced to $559.5 million • Should cover all renewal awards and approximately 50% of the new awards • New awards amounts: • $5,000 Universities • $1,325 Community Colleges • $2,500 Texas State Technical Colleges

  23. Legislators Create Higher Ed Oversight Committee • Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have created a new Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency. It will be chaired by Senate Higher Education Chairwoman Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and House Higher Education Chair Dan Branch, R-Dallas. • The announcement was made amidst an ongoing, contentious debate about the future of higher education in Texas that played out publicly at the level of the University of Texas Board of Regents. • At the center of the matter is a dispute over allegations of micro-management from the governor’s office and others connected to Governor Perry in the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

  24. New Group Forms in Response to Uproar • Approximately 200 higher education leaders and supporters have formed The Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education. This is the latest group — and one of the largest — to form in the wake of a controversy over Gov. Rick Perry's promotion of "seven breakthrough solutions" written by Austin businessman Jeff Sandefer. Other groups have included Texas Business for Higher Education and the Alliance for Texas A&M University, many members of which are part of this new coalition.

  25. Three New Riders Dual Credit Study – analyze and report on the fiscal and instructional impacts on student outcomes for dual credit courses Community College System – provide the LBB and Governor with a blueprint to establish a state system administration fro public community colleges TSTC Returned Value Funding Model – to reward job placement and graduate earnings projections rather than contact hours and time in training

  26. What Made it Through HB 9 - Provides for outcomes-based funding for higher education. Requires the coordinating board to incorporate undergraduate student success measures achieved in “The One” biennium in its formula funding recommendations for the following biennium. HB 33 - Requires IHEs to compile a course schedule list and a list of required and recommended textbooks for each course offered each semester. HB 34 Requires public high schools to incorporate instruction in methods of paying for postsecondary education and training.

  27. What Made it Through HB 992 - The bill provides that in counting the number of courses dropped, a general academic teaching institution may not count a course dropped while the student was enrolled in a public junior college if the student transferred to the institution after earning from another institution at least 30 semester credit hours or earning an associate degree. (Vetoed by Perry 17 June 2011 - A similar bill from the last session was also vetoed by the governor) HB 1163 - Grants tuition and fee exemptions at public institutions of higher education for certain peace officers and firefighters.

  28. What Made it Through HB 1244 - Amends the law relating to the assessment of academic skills of entering undergraduate students to determine readiness to enroll in freshman academic coursework. It deletes the provision authorizing institutions to adopt more stringent assessment standards than those prescribed by the Coordinating Board. HB 1341 - The law governing the option to pay by installment will only apply to the payment of tuition and mandatory fees, as opposed to non-mandatory fees. Also, authorizes the governing board to establish payment dates instead of requiring either the full payment or the first installment payment to be paid before the beginning of the semester.

  29. What Made it Through • HB 1557 (Reynolds)/HB 1816 (Howard, Charlie)/SB 1107 (Davis, Wendy): Requires a vaccination against bacterial meningitis for all first-time students of public, private, or independent institutions of higher education, including transfer students. • SB 1179 Eliminates a variety of reports for state agencies including several relating to institutions of higher education. • SB 162 Requires the Co-Board to prepare a recommendation for a statewide developmental education plan which would give primary responsibility to the community colleges – report is due 12/2012

  30. What Made it Through HB 3025 Aims at facilitating student transfers within the Texas higher education system and improving timely student graduation from institutions of higher education with mandated degree plans and reverse transfer. (Eliminated from the bill were provisions for a 36 hour core, 60 hour limit to Associate Degrees, transfer of career college courses, fixed T&F’s for four years, and guaranteed admission with an Associate Degree.) SB 32 Amends the subchapter of the Education Code containing the exemptions, waivers and other benefits relating to tuition and fees. SB 36 The bill amends the Texas Success Initiative program to mandate assessment of student advising programs.

  31. What Made it Through SB 149 : Grants TEA commissioner authority to develop rules regarding college credit program and directs CB commissioner and institutions of higher education to share data relating to school districts. TEA reporting rules effective fall 2011 – CB reporting rules effective fall 2013 SB 176 Expands eligibility for tuition rebates to certain students who earned college credit hours while in high school by exempting those from inclusion in the three-credit hour limit. SB 639 Amends the law providing tuition and fee exemptions for certain military veterans and dependents.

  32. What Affects Us Now? • SB 176 - $1,000 Tuition Rebate – This bill is effective immediately and affects August 2011 graduates, exempting dual credit hours and ROTC hours (June 2011) • SB 1107 – Meningitis Vaccination – This bill requires all new students to document an immunization administered 10 days prior to the start of a semester (Spring 2012) • HB 3025 – Required Degree Plan & Reverse Transfer – This bill requires each new student to file a degree plan by their second semester or after earning 45 hours and transfer students must be given the opportunity to reverse transfer in order to earn an Associates Degree (Fall 2011) • HB 2758 – Mandatory Emergency Alert Systems – This bill requires all schools to implement an emergency email and/or phone alert system (Spring 2012)