Texas bill would overhaul community college funding

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Dive Brief:

  • Proposed legislation in Texas would make the state’s community colleges more dependent on performance-based funding.
  • HB8, introduced on March 1, would tie a majority of the state funding the colleges receive to student outcomes like the number of overall credits earned, upward transfers, and students with at least 15 credits going toward program requirements. 
  • All community colleges that receive state appropriations would still be entitled to a base level of funding tied to their enrollment under the plan.

Dive Insight:

In 2022, Texas’ legislature created a commission of academics, lawmakers and policy experts to recommend a new funding system for its beleaguered community college system, which accounts for over 40% of the state’s higher education enrollment. 

HB8 is based on an October report from the group, known as the Texas Commission on Community College Finance. The bill would take effect Sept. 1 if approved by the legislature. 

Performance-based funding has been associated with a raise in the lowest SAT scores at public four-year colleges. But critics have also alleged the model perpetuates systemic inequity at public institutions.

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