Higher Ed. Board Proposes Change For University, CC Funding

There could be a change coming in the way public universities and community colleges in Texas are funded. The state Higher Education Coordinating Board is backing a plan that would put a greater emphasis on performance in order for schools to receive a part of their base funding. David Pitman explains.

Right now, state universities and community colleges are funded based on enrollment — specifically, the number of students attending class on the 12th day of a semester.  The proposal from the Higher Education Coordinating Board would take ten percent of that base amount, and tie it to certain performance benchmarks.  Raymund Paredes is Texas Commissioner of Higher Education.

"We will fund on the basis of the number of graduates that universities produce.  For community colleges, we would fund on the basis on the number of associates' degrees, certificates in workforce fields.  We'd fund based on the number of transfers to universities."

Paredes says schools would also be rewarded for producing more graduates in the fields of engineering, computer science, and secondary education for math and science.  This new funding formula isn't necessarily designed to save money, nor will it directly result in higher tuition rates.  Rather, Paredes says it's to make sure students get the most bang for their buck.

"Institutions of higher education, both community colleges and universities, will pay more attention to advising and counseling, and making certain that students are on track to actually completing a credential."

Paredes says the board intends to present the revised funding formula to lawmakers when they begin their session early next year.  Any changes to the higher education funding formula would require legislative approval.

For more information, visit Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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David Pitman

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