Senate Approves Outcome Based Higher Education Bill
By Erin Mulvaney/Reporter
The Senate passed a measure Tuesday that would link part of higher education funding to the student and university “outcomes” and performance.
The bill carried by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, in the Senate would reconfigure the universities’ formula funding to allow the state to tie no more than10 percent of the funding to graduate rates and other outcomes.
Currently, funding is based on enrollment at the beginning of each semester.
Under the committee substitute, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board would make recommendations to the Legislature for funding recommendations based on graduation rates, degrees awarded and other factors.
Some lawmakers feared that some universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, would lose funding because of the bill. Zaffirini assured the chamber that the Legislature could accept or reject the recommendations made by the coordinating board.
The House author Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has argued that the state needs to do something about the “unacceptable” six and four year graduation rates in the state