Legislative

Urgent Legislative Updates

Yesterday was a big day for TACT issues in committees.

Senate Higher Education passed SB 67, a bill that would provide paid leave to faculty who are victims of assault.  TACT registered in favor of this legislation.

Senate Finance received a report from the Legislative Budget Board staff about the base bill funding of Optional Retirement Program and Teacher Retirement System.  Budgeted appropriations levels have been dropped to the constitutional minimum of six percent of salary.  TACT expressed opposition to the reduced funding.

TACT Executive Director in Austin American-Statesman

Below is TACT Executive Director Chuck Hempstead’s letter to the editor published in today’s Austin American-Statesman, regarding the article sent to you on January 10.  Please view the letter below, and feel free to contact us with any thoughts.

“Re: Jan. 10 article "Pressure building to boost graduation rates, cut budgets."

Incentive funding for Texas higher education is when then-state Sen. Bill Ratliff rewarded universities for deploying career, tenured professors, rather than less expensive alternatives, in undergraduate classrooms.  Incentive funding is the Legislature providing additional scholarships to students who cannot afford escalating tuition without it.   

Incentive funding is not to create unfunded mandates while carving a larger slice from a diminishing appropriations pie and blindly wishing that if only the faculty worked harder, all other graduation rate variables will recede and we'll find ourselves with more, younger degree-holders.

Will corporate employment recruiters start asking, "How fast did you graduate to make room for someone else?" Or will they stick with, "What do you know that you can contribute?"

Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board Agrees with TACT

Today in the Austin American-Statesman the Editorial Board penned this Editorial that agrees with TACT about the harmful nature of Outcome Based Higher Education standards. They argue that during this time of budget shortfalls for the state that higher education on all levels shouldn’t be forced to make cuts when enrollment rates are surging at more than 12.2% for two-year public schools.

Pre-Filing for the 82nd Legislature is Under Way

Now that the election season is over, we have turned our focus into following what is going on in the large domed building in the middle of Downtown. Here are just a few of the bills we are looking at. For a more complete list, please see the eBulletin you will receive soon.

HB 86 - Concealed Carry on College Campuses - By David Simpson Allows for anyone with a Texas concealed handgun license to carry on a college campus, or inside of any building of which an activity sponsored by the institution is being conducted.

Student Financial Aid may take significant hit in next session

The Austin American-Statesman reports today that student financial aid may be slashed by up to $108 million in the next two-year budget. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board met in Austin this week to discuss recommendations on cost efficiencies in higher education.

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