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DCCCD's top legislative priorities for the 85th Texas Legislative Session

Texas community colleges are vital to the well-being of the State of Texas. DCCCD and the 165,000 students who attend classes at one of the district's seven colleges or online – along with the other 49 community colleges/systems across the state – will play a central role in driving Texas' economic engine, training its workforce and educating the majority of freshman and sophomore students who are entering higher education across the state.

As advocates for the Dallas County Community College District visit with members of the Texas House and Senate during the 85th legislative session, DCCCD's goal is to share issues of importance which also align with several priorities from the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Some of those priorities include:

  • Funding for Community Colleges
    • DCCCD is seeking $1.834 billion in general revenue for core operations, student success and instruction for community colleges.
    • Statewide, community colleges have grown 62 percent since 2000.
  • Early Childhood Education  
    • The Dallas County job market is experiencing a shortage of more than 4,000 early childhood educators.
    • The bill offers the choice of a quality and affordable bachelor's degree in early childhood education.
    • It supports the governor's mission of a quality pre-kindergarten program.
    • It can be done without adding fiscal costs to the state.
  • Workforce Development: "Recruit Texas"
    • The initiative is designed to ensure that Texas remains competitive and is the Number 1 place for economic development and workforce training.
    • It redirects current funds within the Texas Workforce Commission.
    • The program can include assessment, employee recruitment, safety training and leadership development.Throughout the 85th legislative session, DCCCD will track these and other bills that have a direct impact on the district – like funding for Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) – as they make their way through the legislative process. A list of bills tracked by DCCCD is available here; this interactive link allows users to read the text of a bill, its status and other important information.

EDUCATION AND FUNDING

Community colleges enroll 47 percent of all Texas students in public higher education; we are ready to lead through innovative approaches. (And 70 percent of all college freshmen and sophomores in Texas started their higher education careers at a community college.)

DCCCD is committed to performance-based funding, and we also are prepared to do the heavy lifting so that Texas can achieve its 60x30TX higher education plan recommended by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board: that 60 percent of all Texans ages 25 to 34 will earn a college credential by 2030.

Early Childhood Baccalaureate Bill

The job market in Dallas County is experiencing a shortage of more than 4,000 early childhood educators. DCCCD has a solution: create an Early Childhood Institute and award baccalaureate degrees in early childhood education. By offering a quality and affordable degree, the district supports the governor's mission of a quality pre-kindergarten and also helps solve the teacher shortage without adding any fiscal costs for the state.

Download a list of DCCCD's priorities (PDF - 231KB).

Funding for the Future

All Texas community colleges are seeking specific funding amounts in order to serve more than 700K students. The state funds three major components for community colleges: core operations, success points and instruction/contact hours. The total request in new funds for community colleges during the 2018-2019 biennium is $1.83 billion – a 5 percent increase for the state's two-year colleges, which have grown more than 62 percent since 2000.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

DCCCD and other Texas community colleges continuously demonstrate innovative ways of preparing students for the workforce. We are rethinking the factors that define student success by exploring efficiencies in how DCCCD and other two-year colleges run their institutions.

Recruit Texas Bill

Partnerships in Texas are key to success; they ensure that the state is wide open for business. DCCCD proposes an economic development program designed to attract or expand new businesses in Texas. Recruit Texas provides turn-key workforce training and also will use the training strength of community and technical colleges to deliver workforce education needs. Recruit Texas seeks to redirect current funds within the Texas Workforce Commission and asks community colleges to invest in the partnership.

Additional information is available here (PDF - 231KB) and also at RecruitTexas.org

Jobs and Education for Texans, Skills Development Program – Texas Workforce Commission

Texas community colleges will advocate for continued growth of the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant program and the Skills Development program; both efforts are administered by the Texas Workforce Commission. Texas community and technical colleges have helped more than 4,100 statewide employers train 329,000 employees since 1996 through TWC's Skills Development Fund grants.

We believe in being engaged in the discussion of new workforce development policies that are advanced through the state legislature as well as in working together with industry and TWC to meet the needs of Texas.

DCCCD DELIVERS

DCCCD has approximately 100,000 students each semester during the regular academic year – more than 73,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students – that drive the district to support their instructional, laboratory and facilities needs. Those needs compel us to work with legislators and to ensure that community colleges must be a statewide priority – particularly as businesses expand, the state's economy grows and the demand for a well-trained workforce continues to build.

The 50 community colleges/systems in Texas represent the largest sector of higher education in the state because we enroll more than 70 percent of all Texas freshmen and sophomores – and 78 percent of all minority freshmen and sophomores, too, which reflects the ethnic diversity we see every day across the state.

Community colleges serve as a gateway that provides access to higher education for people from every walk of life and from every community in Texas. We are the key to success in achieving the states' goals in 60X30TX.  DCCCD, along with all other community colleges in Texas, attracts those students who are needed in the higher education system. Today, everyone needs some college to succeed and build careers.

When our students earn credentials, they are able to enter the workforce and find jobs that pay a living wage; or transfer to another college or university to earn additional credentials so that they, too, eventually enter the workforce and build their careers.

With those facts in mind, DCCCD and other two-year institutions in Texas believe that the focus on community colleges and the contributions that they make to individual success, community needs, business partnerships and economic growth is earned and must be funded.

Our legislative priorities reflect the strategic priorities of our DCCCD board of trustees as well as several of priorities supported by the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

During this session of the Texas Legislature – which brings new leadership and new challenges to the floor, as well as existing budget issues – we believing that funding must grow as needs of community college students grow. DCCCD and other two-year colleges across the state need the resources and support to continue the education and training that our students and the State of Texas need to succeed – education, workforce training, stability of employment, economic growth and support for the communities we serve.

For more information, contact Isaac Faz or Justin Lonon in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs at 214-378-1824.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Pending Legislation

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How you can help

Get the information you need about the Texas Legislature’s pending education-related House and Senate bills.
This page provides links to related higher education organizations and governmental agencies.
Do you have opinions about higher education that you want to share with the legislators in Austin? Visit this section to get information about DCCCD to use in your calls, emails and letters to elected officials.