CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 8 into law, changing the funding model for community colleges across the state of Texas. This bill will provide an additional $683 million to all 50 Texas institutions, including Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.
According to the bill, the money will go to community colleges based on the number of students who meet a series of requirements for the funding. They have to:
- earn credentials of value
- have completed at least 15 hours of courses and transfers to a four-year university
- be enrolled in dual-credit courses or take courses that apply towards academic or workforce program requirements
Carol Scott, the chairman of Board of Regents at Del Mar College, said the state has appropriated funds in the past, which were part of a static system, where a pool of money divided up among the state community colleges based on what was called contact hours.
But now, all of that is changing. Scott played a pivotal role in lobbying lawmakers to make sure they saw the importance of proper funding for higher education institutions.
"This is a dramatic change for community colleges across the state of Texas," Scott said. "To go to this dynamic funding model in which we are looking to each individual college to improve their outcomes overtime and for the state to recognize that from a policy standpoint is a significant shift in how the state of Texas has looked at community colleges historically."
Governor Abbott said House Bill 8 is to be an outcome-based funding opportunity and the hope is to allow community colleges to enhance their workforce training programs and prepare students for high demand careers.
Del Mar College doesn't know how much money they'll be getting as a result of the new law. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which oversees colleges and universities, will decide how much money each college will receive.