First Alerts

2017 Legislative Session in Review Highlights

Adequate funding was the number one issue for the Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT). The initial legislative appropriations bill introduced in January was harsh toward universities, with cuts ranging from six to ten percent. Higher education appropriations had fared well in 2015, but the Texas Comptroller’s revenue estimate for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 did not promise any extra gravy to spread around. In late May, the contrast between competing House and Senate versions exceeded a billion dollars.

Higher Education Funding Appropriations 2018-19

Take a look to see how the budget funding affected your school. To see a full list with comparison to the 2016-17 appropriations, click HERE

FORMER TEXAS COMMISSIONER PENS COMMENTARY ON CUTS TO HIGHER ED

Kenneth H. Ashworth, Long-Serving Texas Commissioner of Higher Education and current TACT member, has written a compelling guest editorial on the cause and effects of higher education defunding. To read the article titled, Commentary: Texas’ future unravels with budget cuts to higher education, in the myStatesman, click HERE. This opinion comes just a day after TACT delivered letters to members of the Appropriations Conference Committee encouraging larger appropriations, particularly for student aid and special items.

Call to Action to Support University Funding

The Conference Committee is working on a budget for Higher Ed from the proposed House and Senate 2018-2019 budgets. As reported in our previous First Alert, The Senate has proposed the more conservative budget bill, which includes 6-10 percent funding reductions for each university and eliminates the special item appropriations. To see how your campus may be impacted, click the link below:

http://tact.org/2017/Docs/Higher_Ed_Funds.pdf

House and Senate Budget Conferees Named – Call to Action to Support University Funding

Possibly the most important Legislative issue this session for TACT and Texas faculty is the two-year budget being debated as we speak. The Lt. Governor and House Speaker have named their budget conferees, who will seek compromise between the adopted budgets of each chamber.