TX House Releases Interim Charges
Though released later than usual, the Texas House released interim charges March 10, which are issues the Representatives intend to work on prior to the next legislative session.
Here are highlights that relate to higher education.
Committee on Appropriations (budget)
Monitor and oversee the implementation of appropriations bills and other relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature, including SB 52 (87S3), relating to the issuance of revenue bonds to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher education.
Committee on Higher Education
1. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
SB 1102, relating to the establishment of the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Program to support workforce education; and
SB 1295, relating to financial support and incentives for comprehensive regional universities.
2. Review progress toward the goals of the 60x30TX plan, including institutional strategies for responding to changing workforce needs and demands, including workforce education, industry certification, and degree programs to address healthcare shortages.
3. Examine factors that have contributed to the rising costs of higher education, including the effect of statutory tuition and fee waivers and exemptions, the cost of compliance with state and federal mandates, and the increase in the number of non-faculty staff. Make recommendations for controlling these costs and ensuring a sound fiscal approach to managing college affordability for the future.
4. Evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the state’s teacher workforce and current practices to improve the recruitment, preparation, and retention of high-quality educators. Explore the impact of the educator preparation program regulatory environment. Make recommendations to improve educator recruitment, retention, and preparation throughout the state. (Joint Charge with Committee on Public Education)
5. Review the impact of investments of endowment and other trust funds, including the Permanent University Fund, by university systems and institutions of higher education in businesses and funds owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for investment restrictions. Consider the impact of any proposed investment restrictions on fund performance.
Committee on Public Education
Examine partnerships between K-12, higher education institutions, and employers that promote postsecondary and career readiness and identify current obstacles that public schools, higher education institutions, and employers face. Make recommendations to ensure career and technical education programs, internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities are more accessible.