Dallas College Legislative Priorities

​Texas Association of Community Colleges 87th Legislative Session Policy Priorities

  • Investing in community colleges
    • The association adopted formula funding recommendations informed by the findings of the Community and Technical College Formula Advisory Committee. However, the CTCFAC concluded its work prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when expectations for the 87th Legislature were optimistic. Considering current circumstances, TACC recommends an increase in appropriation for core operations to support stabilization of college operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Workforce and economic recovery policy
    • The association recommends supporting the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education initiative, specifically seeking statutory authority to create a state fund to support the program.

Dallas College/Texas Association of Community Colleges Priority Bills

S.B. 1 – General Appropriations Bill

S.B. 1 is the Texas Legislature’s two-year budget (“22-23 biennium"), which is approximately $248 billion. Important to note: The budget does not tap into the Economic Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the rainy-day fund. S.B. 1 is approximately $13.5 billion less than the current budget. Additionally, the legislature is expecting to return for a special session to decide how to appropriate approximately $16 billion in federal funds.

In the 22-23 biennium, higher education is funded at $8.6 billion and includes $486 million to fund enrollment growth. Approximately $110 million is appropriated for need-based financial aid (Texas Grants) for students at two- and four-year colleges.

Dallas College saw roughly a 3.5% decrease in overall state appropriation. The college will receive approximately $182,389,358 in formula funding and $3,663,814 in special items (Small Business Development Centers and Starlink) funding for the 22-23 biennium.

  • Effective date: Sept. 1, 2021 – signed by Gov. Abbott June 18, 2021
  • Appropriations/Budget

S.B 1102 – Relating to the establishment of the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) program to support workforce education

S.B. 1102 amends the Education Code to establish the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) program to support workforce education at public junior colleges administered by the THECB. H.B. 2 includes a contingency rider for S.B. 1102 that requires THECB to use federal coronavirus funding to implement the program.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021
  • Workforce

S.B. 1230 – Relating to establishing the Texas Commission on Community College Finance

S.B. 1230 establishes the Texas Commission on Community College Finance. The focus of the commission shall be to study state appropriations for public community and junior colleges and to make recommendations for consideration by the 88th Texas Legislature for establishing a state funding formula and funding levels sufficient for sustaining viable community college education and training offerings throughout the state.

The commission is composed of 12 members as follows: (1) four members appointed by the governor; (2) three members appointed by the lieutenant governor; (3) three members appointed by the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives; (4) one member appointed by the board of the Texas Association of Community Colleges; and (5) one member appointed by the board of the Community College Association of Texas Trustees. The governor to designate the presiding officer of the commission

  • Effective date: Sept. 1, 2021 – signed by Gov. Abbott May 26, 2021
  • Service Areas/Governance

S.B. 959 – Relating to student success-based funding recommendations for certain continuing workforce education courses offered by public junior colleges

S.B. 959 amends the Education Code to require the THECB, in making its recommendations to the legislature relating to institutional appropriations of performance-based incentive funds for public junior colleges, to consider student success measures achieved in qualified continuing workforce education courses offered by those colleges for which credit toward a certificate or associate degree is not awarded. Such a course is considered qualified for purposes of incentive funding if the course is consistent with the role and mission of a public junior college and is designed to prepare students with skills necessary to attain external workforce credentials or employment in a specific high-demand occupation, regardless of whether the course is part of a recognized sequence of courses that requires a specific number of contact hours.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021
  • Workforce

S.B. 1277 – Relating to an agreement between a school district and public institution of higher education to provide a dual credit program to high school students enrolled in the district

S.B. 1277 amends current law relating to an agreement between a school district and public institution of higher education that offer dual credit programs to designate at least one employee to provide academic advising for each student enrolled in a dual credit course prior to enrollment.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott May 30, 2021
  • Dual Credit, Transfer/Advising

S.B. 1531 – Relating to formula funding for excess undergraduate credit hours at public institutions of higher education and to the tuition rate that may be charged for those credit hours

S.B. 1531 amends the Education Code to lower the threshold number of semester credit hours, in addition to the total required for a student’s degree plan, above which a public institution of higher education may charge a resident undergraduate student a higher rate of tuition for excessive semester credit hours from 30 hours to 15 hours for a student enrolled in an associate degree program.

The Turner amendment – changed to new student enrolling for the first time in an associate degree program for the fall 2023 semester.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021
  • Tuition and Fees

H.B. 3348 – Relating to the number of baccalaureate degree programs certain public junior colleges may offer

H.B. 3348 repeals TEC Section 130.306 (b) limiting community colleges to offering not more than three baccalaureate degree programs at any time. The new law states a public junior college offering a baccalaureate degree program may not offer more than five baccalaureate degree programs at any time.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 16, 2021
  • Bachelor’s Degrees

Notable Bills

Governance

S.B. 1677 – Repeal of Certain Reporting and Internet Posting Requirements – Relating to eliminating certain reporting and posting requirements for public institutions of higher education

S.B. 167 eliminates certain requirements applicable to institutions of higher education, including the requirement that an institution include its faculty academic workload in its operating budget; post on its website certain information required by law, including the number of full-time employees, information regarding employee compensation and the amount of legislative appropriations to the institution; and that the chief executive officer annually report certain information to the board regarding affordability and access.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 7, 2021

Instruction

H.B. 1027 – Relating to the disclosure of certain information regarding course materials by public institutions of higher education

Higher education students may benefit from greater transparency as it pertains to the cost of their course materials while registering for courses, as students at some institutions of higher education are charged various fees for which they did not budget, such as technology use fees, library access fees and printing fees. H.B. 1027 addresses this issue by requiring certain information relating to course materials to be provided to students by institutions of higher education beginning with the fall 2022 semester.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 15, 2021
  • Website Notice/Info Disclose, Textbooks

S.B. 165 – Dropped Courses in Times of Disaster – Relating to an exception to dropped course limitations at public institutions of higher education for courses dropped during a disaster that result in a bar or limit on in-person course attendance

S.B. 165 permits a student to drop courses beyond the existing limit of six courses for good cause; defines good cause to include situations where a governor-issued disaster declaration results in a limitation or outright ban on in-person class attendance for a length of time that would significantly impact the student’s ability to participate in coursework.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021

S.B. 1531 – Tuition Charged Students – Relating to formula funding for excess undergraduate credit hours at public institutions of higher education and to the tuition rate that may be charged for those credit hours

Under existing law, a resident student may be charged a higher rate of tuition if the student previously attempted a number of credit hours at any institution that exceeds the number of credit hours required for completion of the student’s degree program by at least 30 hours. S.B. 1531 retains this limit for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree but lowers the threshold for associate degree hours to 15 hours and provides that a student not enrolled in a degree program is considered enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021

Personnel

H.B. 1589 – Military Leave for Service During Disaster – Relating to paid leave for public officers and employees engaged in certain military service

H.B. 1589 adds seven (7) days to the number of days of leave (15) per year a government employer, including a community college, must grant to an employee who is a member of the state military forces, the reserves or a state or federal urban search and rescue team, and who is engaged in active duty or authorized training during a disaster.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 18, 2021

H.B. 2073 – Quarantine Leave for Peace Officers – Relating to quarantine leave for firefighters, peace officers, detention officers and emergency medical technicians employed by, appointed by or elected for a political subdivision

H.B. 2073 requires the governing body of a political subdivision, including a community college board of trustees, to adopt a paid quarantine leave policy for peace officers and EMTs who are required to quarantine or isolate in response to a possible or known exposure to a communicable disease while on duty.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 15, 2021

S.B. 1359 – Peace Officer Mental Health Leave – Relating to adoption by law enforcement agencies of a mental health leave policy for peace officers

S.B. 1359 requires a law enforcement agency to adopt a policy permitting its officers who experience a traumatic event in the scope of employment to take mental health leave.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 7, 2021

Purchasing and Operations

H.B. 3610 – Tax Exemption for Real Property Leased to Public Schools – Relating to the applicability of certain laws to certain public schools and certain requirements of a charter school that receives certain tax exemptions

H.B. 3610 provides that the portion of real property that is leased to a community college, a school district or an open-enrollment charter school is exempt from property taxes if the portion of the real property that is leased to the public school is used exclusively by the school for its operation, administration or other education functions and is reasonably necessary for such a purpose as found by the school’s governing body.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 18, 2021

Student and Campus Safety

H.B. 1927 – Permitless Carry – Relating to provisions governing the carrying of a firearm

H.B. 1927 allows permitless carry of handguns with certain exceptions. Provisions prohibiting open carry on campuses of higher education institutions, including community colleges, and permitting licenses holders to carry a concealed weapon on campus unless prohibited, consistent with law, with proper notice and in accordance with established institutional policies are relocated within the Texas Penal Code but are without modification; except that the legislation applies them to all individuals and all prohibited weapons.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 16, 2021

S.B. 45 – Sexual Harassment of an Employee – Relating to the prohibition against sexual harassment in the workplace

S.B. 45 provides that an employer, including a community college, commits an unlawful employment practice if an employee is sexually harassed and the employer or the employer’s supervisors or agents know or should have known about the conduct but fail to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott May 30, 2021

S.B. 279 – Relating to the inclusion of suicide prevention information on certain student identification cards issued by a public school or public institution of higher education

S.B. 279 amends the education code by adding an act relating to the inclusion of suicide prevention information on certain student identification cards issued by a public school or public institution of higher education. ID cards must have printed on the card the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line. There are several “may haves" in addition.

This act will apply only to a student ID card issued on or after the effective date of this act.

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021

S.B. 1856 – Relating to certain vocational nursing students providing services during a declared state of disaster

This bill establishes that service provided by a vocational nursing student in a licensed nursing facility and authorized by a contract or other arrangement with the facility are allowed at all times in Texas, including during a declared state of disaster.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021

Workforce

H.B. 4361 – Relating to off-campus workforce education or lower-division programs offered by a public institution of higher education at the request of an employer

H.B. 4361 authorizes an IHE to enter into an agreement with employers to provide credit or noncredit off-campus workforce education or lower-division program to the institution’s students at a site requested by the employer without the approval of a higher education regional council (HERC).

  • Effective date: Effective immediately, signed by Gov. Abbott June 14, 2021

S.B. 770 – Self-Sufficiency Fund – Relating to eligibility for job-training programs provided under the self-sufficiency fund

Under existing law, job training programs funded by the self-sufficiency fund must be provided to individuals who receive aid under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. S.B. 770 replaces that qualification, requiring instead that programs be provided to individuals identified by the Texas Workforce Commission as low-income or at risk of needing public assistance benefits, thereby expanding the pool.

  • Effective date: Effective Sept. 1, 2021, signed by Gov. Abbott May 24, 2021