The Senate Higher Education Subcommittee is charged with conducting a thorough and detailed review of the following issues, including state and federal requirements, and preparing recommendations to address problems or issues that are identified.
1. Study the impact of admissions policies on enrollment in Texas public institutions and make recommendations for improving the admissions procedures, as necessary. The study should include, but not be limited to, a review of recent court decisions on college admissions policies, and an evaluation of the impact of the "Top 10%" law on college admissions.
2. Study and make recommendations on the proper role, scope, and mission of community colleges. Develop innovative approaches to incorporating the community college system into the delivery of K through 16 education. Study the feasibility of allowing community college districts to expand their service areas for taxing purposes.
3. Study developmental education programs in public higher education institutions. Identify alternative means of assessing the need for developmental education, the effectiveness of delivery of developmental education programs, and the appropriate role of developmental education.
4. Study and make recommendations to modify the student financial assistance programs to provide better incentives for students to graduate on time with better grades, such as the B-On-Time program and work-study programs, and to simplify the application process for financial aid programs.
5. Review and make recommendations relating to the adequacy of funding for graduate medical education, including funding required for professors, facilities, research programs and students. Review and make recommendations relating to increasing the number of health professionals.
Joint Interim Charge with the Senate Finance Committee
1. Study and make recommendations relating to the development of a statewide accountability system for higher education that is consistent with funding strategies for higher education.
2. Study and make recommendations evaluating the cost of increasing the number of Tier 1 universities in Texas. Reexamine current and alternative methods of funding regional universities, community colleges, health science centers and their reimbursement for the provision of indigent health care, and universities.
3. Study the budgetary impact of legislation to deregulate tuition at institutions of higher education. This study should include, but not be limited to, a review of recent tuition increases authorized by this Act, their impact on affordability of higher education, and an evaluation of the expenditure of these funds.
The committee shall submit copies of its final report no later than December 1, 2004. The printing of reports should be coordinated through the Secretary of the Senate. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor (5 copies), Secretary of the Senate, Senate Research, Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.
The final report should include recommended statutory or agency rulemaking changes, if applicable. Such recommendations must be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee. Recommendations should also include state and local fiscal cost estimates, where feasible. The Legislative Budget Board is available to assist in this regard.
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Budget and Staff
Travel costs shall be paid from the operating budgets of Senate members. All other costs shall be borne by the Senate Higher Education Subcommittee's interim budget, as approved by the Senate Administration Committee. Due to overall budget constraints, it is recommended each interim committee budget include only critical expenditures and, where possible, reductions from previous spending levels.
The Committee should also seek the assistance of legislative and executive branch agencies where appropriate.
Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2005. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 79th Legislative Session.
78th Legislature's Senate Education Committee.
77th Legislature's Senate Education Committee.
76th Legislature's Senate Education Committee.
76th Legislature's Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education.