Senate Interim Committee on Education
Review the role of the Texas Legislature, Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board (THECB), and the university systems in making
changes in the governance structure of universities and implementing
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THECB
Develop a geographic-based
master plan for higher education that identifies the role of each
institution and ensures access to higher education through distance
learning and telecommunications. In addition, review, within
the context of the statewide master plan, the effectiveness of
THECB's authority to review course offerings; approve new departments,
schools, and degrees at universities; and approve real-estate
purchases and construction projects at public higher education
Submit a report in cooperation
with the Legislative Budget Board concerning the impact of any
proposed new professional school, public institution of higher
education, or additional campus.
Create outcome measures for
higher education based on student performance on a nationally
normed "rising junior" test, graduate school entrance
examinations, and professional licensing tests.
Assign national or state "peer
institutions" to each Texas public higher education institution
to serve as benchmarks for performance and outcome measures, faculty
salaries, and other productivity information.
Eliminate THECB's authority
to restrict distance learning courses.
Limit THECB's formula funding
recommendations to funding for technical programs at community
colleges, Lamar-Orange and Lamar-Port Arthur, and the Texas State
Technical College (TSTC) System. THECB would implement the two-year
academic and university funding mechanisms established by the
legislature and provide recommendations every five years for legislative
amendments to the formula.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS
Review the quality of libraries
and all degree programs at component institutions to ensure that
the libraries and access to libraries support the programs at
Establish a faculty evaluation
policy that includes annual review of faculty performance, including
tenured faculty based on peer and student evaluations. Below-standard
evaluations for two consecutive years would provide cause for
tenure revocation or dismissal.
Monitor the implementation of Senate Bill 1, 74th Legislative
Session, with emphasis on the relationship established between
the education and juvenile justice communities; the change in
relationship between the state and independent school districts;
the implementation of home-rule school districts, and campus and
program charter provisions; and the Legislative Budget Board studies
on school funding special allotments and program weights.
SUGGESTED S.B. 1 REVISIONS
Clarify language requiring
all expelled students to be provided educational services by the
Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program.
Delegate specific responsibilities
to and specify funding obligations for school districts, local
county officials, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas
Juvenile Probation Commission, and the Texas Youth Commission
regarding services required to be provided to expelled students.
Include in the statute additional
procedures to be used prior to removal of a student to an Alternative
Education Program in order to comply with constitutional due process
rights of a student.
Clarify the responsibilities
of school districts and county officials for disabled students
eligible for special education services and for students eligible
for protection under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Clarify textbook adoption
provisions to clearly define the State Board of Education's role
in textbook adoptions, including whether the board has authority
to reject textbooks based on content.
Amend language to clarify
school district transportation requirements, particularly those
authorizing school districts to transport 10 or fewer students
on state-funded bus routes using passenger cars.
Revise state restrictions
regarding school district purchasing procedures to better explain
the amount of discretion a school district may exhibit in this
Clarify enrollment provisions
in an attempt to specify who is legally eligible to enroll a student
in Texas public schools.
Review the affordability of higher education in Texas in light
of potential cutbacks in federal student assistance, increases
in tuition and student services fees, and recent state-funded
student assistance measures.
Seek ways to increase spending
on student financial assistance should federal student financial
assistance be reduced.
Study higher education financial issues related to projected increases
in enrollment; faculty and administrator salaries; and support
for research into emerging technologies and for medical schools.
Meet the 10 most populous
states' average faculty salaries over the next three biennia.
STATE FUNDING FOR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Simplify the funding formulas.
Implement an undergraduate
instructional formula that provides increased funding for courses
taught by tenured or tenure-track professors.
Eliminate factors in the facilities
maintenance and operation formula that encourage new construction.
funding through a formula for special activities and startup costs
for new programs and courses.
TUITION, FEES, AND GRANT SET-ASIDES
Authorize governing boards
of university systems to set undergraduate tuition rates for member
institutions based on minimum rates set by law.
Eliminate the general-purpose
building fee charged to students by including it in tuition and
increase the percentage of Texas Public Education Grant program
funds set-aside at universities from additional tuition revenue
generated by tuition rates exceeding the minimum state rate.
Review educational services and training provided to non-college
bound students, and make recommendations on the appropriate educational
institutions to ensure that these students acquire employment
The committee did not make
any formal recommendations relating to this charge.Charge
Study the appropriate role of and relationships between the levels
of education in Texas. Such relationships include elementary/secondary
education and higher education, and two-year and four-year institutions.
MISSION, COURSE OFFERINGS, OPERATIONS,
AND FUNDING OF TSTC
Narrow TSTC's role and mission
to offering advanced and emerging, highly specialized, cost-intensive
technology programs as defined by THECB and implement a new funding
formula based on these programs.
Require remedial education
to be provided by a local or service region community college,
under contract with TSTC, at the TSTC campus at no additional
cost to the student.
Eliminate all TSTC authority
to establish extension centers and programs.
Designate the Marshall Extension
Center as a TSTC campus.
Authorize the TSTC extension
centers at Abilene and Brownwood and the extension program at
Breckenridge to merge with a service region community college.
TASP TESTING AND REMEDIAL INSTRUCTION
Require high schools to release
information to the newspaper of local circulation if the school
had five or more students needing remedial assistance at a higher
Create an optional "college
bound" portion of the TAAS test, which students may take
for exemption from the TASP.
CORE CURRICULUM AND THE TRANSFER OF CREDIT
HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
Mandate the block transfer
of at least 45 hours of general education core courses from a
community college to a Texas public university or community colleges
and state universities.
PUBLIC SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIPS
Increase funding to the Texas
Tuition Assistance Grant Program to provide $1,000 per year college
scholarships to high school graduates meeting certain academic
and socioeconomic requirements.
Provide funding to colleges
and universities to host summer academic institutes for high school