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Governmental Affairs

Photo of the Texas capital, students working on a car and students studing on campus

Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature

The special session of the 85th Texas Legislature began July 18 and lasts for 30 days. Check back for updated information. 

See the bills tracked by DCCCD to read the text of a bill, its status and other important information.

Texas community colleges are vital to the overall well-being of Texas. DCCCD and our 165,000 students, along with our 49 community colleges across the state, play a central role in maintaining Texas’ economic engine and educating the majority of entering freshman and sophomore students.

    During the special session we will be paying close attention to property tax bills and other bills that impact our students, faculty and staff. Please let us know if you need further information.

    Recap of DCCCD’s Legislative
    Priorities and Outcomes 

    Find out more by clicking links below.


    Community colleges, enrolling 52% of Texas students in public higher education, are ready to lead through innovative approaches. We are committed to performance-based funding and prepared to do the heavy lifting so that Texas can achieve the goal of the 60x30TX higher education plan.

    Early Childhood Baccalaureate Bill  

    The job market in Dallas County is short by 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, we support the governor’s mission of a quality pre-k and help fill the teacher shortage without adding a fiscal note to the state.

    OUTCOME: S.B. 2118 was passed and signed by Governor Abbott. It will allow community colleges to offer a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in applied science, including applied science with an emphasis in early childhood education, applied technology or nursing.

    Funding for the Future

    All Texas community colleges are seeking specific funding amounts — to serve over 700K students — for each of the three major components of state funding for community colleges: Core Operations, Success Points and Instruction/Contact Hours. The total request in new funds for the 2018-2019 biennium is $1.83 billion — a 5% increase for colleges that have grown 62% since 2000. 

    OUTCOME: S.B. 1 funds all community colleges at $1.764 billion. Specifically, DCCCD received $179,301,855 — which includes special items funding. Overall, a 2.6% increase from the current funding level.


    Texas community colleges continuously demonstrate innovative ways of preparing students for the workforce, and are rethinking what defines student and community success by exploring efficiencies in how we run our institutions.

    Recruit Texas Bill  

    Partnerships in Texas are key to success and to ensure we are wide open for business. We propose an economic development program to attract or expand new businesses in Texas. Recruit Texas provides turnkey workforce training and will utilize the training strength of our community and technical colleges to deliver training needs. Recruit Texas seeks to redirect current funds within the Texas Workforce Commission, and it asks community colleges to invest in the partnership. 

    OUTCOME: H.B. 108 — "Recruit Texas" — was passed and signed by Governor Abbott. H.B. 108 allows Texas to remain competitive by granting permission to the Texas Workforce Commission to access skills development funds. The funds will allow community colleges and businesses wishing to relocate to Texas the opportunity to partner and recruit employees, provide safety training and leadership development.

    Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) (SB1, Article 3, Special Items)  

    For every $1 invested in TX SBDC, $5.38 in tax revenue is generated. Statewide, there are four SBDC lead offices; one is housed at the Dallas County Community College District. SBDC conducts research, and counsels and trains business people in managing, financing and operating small businesses. SBDC plays a pivotal role in driving the Texas economy by creating jobs and generating revenue for the state. We believe in keeping the Texas economy strong by funding SBDC.  

    OUTCOME: Through higher education special items funding, the state appropriated $3,856,647 for the North Texas SBDC. The North Texas SBDC serves 49 counties through 12 offices and several satellite branches.

    S.B. 2118 – Allowing Community Colleges to Offer Baccalaureate Degrees

    The Dallas County Community College District worked with legislators during the recent 85th legislative session to obtain authority to offer bachelor degrees. Specifically, S.B. 2118 allows DCCCD to offer the choice of a quality, affordable bachelor’s degree in applied science, including applied science with an emphasis in early childhood education, applied technology, or nursing.  

    While the bill was signed and is effective immediately, it will take time for all community colleges to receive approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and meet the applicable accreditation requirements of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. DCCCD expects the entire process to take two to four years.  

    We are as excited as current and prospective students to offer a bachelor’s degree, and we commit to work hard to create a robust curriculum that will help our students pursue their dreams. Please stay in touch with DCCCD and visit our website to learn more and receive updates.

    Download 85th Legislative Session Recap (PDF - 171KB)


    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% of all Texas freshmen and sophomores — and 78% 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 believe 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

    Get the information you need about the Texas Legislature’s pending education-related House and Senate bills.

    See Pending Legislation

    Related Websites

    This page provides links to related higher education organizations and governmental agencies.

    See Related Websites

    How You Can Help

    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.

    Learn How You Can Help