First Alerts

Comment Period Open on College Readiness

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently opened the public comment period on the draft College Readiness Standards.  CRS is arranged by Vertical Teams in language arts, math, science and social sciences that include faculty from public schools, colleges and universities.  The draft was presented at the October board meeting when it was accepted for public comment between October 26 and December 10, 2007.

Constitutional Amendment Election

Many interesting constitutional amendments on the November 6 ballot (early voting through Friday this week).

Though TACT does not have a position on the 16 propositions, the first two deal with higher education and deserve your attention.  The first one moves Angelo State University from the Texas State University System to the Texas Tech University System.  The second one provides $500 million in general obligation bonds for student financial aid loans - money which will find its way to the campus budgets.

Please vote.


Legislative Board Agrees to Restore Money to Health Care Expenses

The Legislative Budget Board, a.k.a., Governor, Lt. Governor and House Speaker, have forged an agreement to restore more than $150 million - previously vetoed - to community colleges for health care expenses.  The debate during the last session, called proportionality, hinges on whether the state should pay faculty benefit expenses relative to the percent of salaries that are funded by non-state revenues.

To a lesser extent, the issue had the potential to spill over to four-year universities.

Representative Lois Kolkhorst named "Legislator of the Year"

State Representative Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) has been named by the TACT State Board as the organization's "Legislator of the Year" for her accomplishments and leadership during the 80th Legislative Session.

Appropriations Conference Committee Meeting

The final version of the state budget for the next two years is currently in the hands of five senators and five house members.