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Texas community colleges get big funding change

Lawmakers are investing $683 million in community colleges to transform funding.
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jan 12, 2024

WACO, Texas — Texas lawmakers are investing $683 million in community colleges, transforming funding.

The system is based on three parts:

  • A degree with proven value
  • How many students transfer to a public four-year university
  • Dual-credit courses for high school students

“This is a good program, to transform funding — lots of incentives for us to make sure our students get through,” said McLennan Community College President, Johnette McKown.

Texas lawmakers are giving community colleges a big boost, investing $683 million.

But how they’re marking success in schools could have bigger changes for the state’s economy.

“We have been funded based on enrollment before, and now we’re based totally on outcomes of our performance. So, most of it is in performance funding,” McKown said.

McKown says the new system is based on three parts.

The first is a degree with proven value, meaning graduates are earning more than their peers with a high school diploma. Another is based on how many students transfer to a public four-year university.

The funding is also based on dual-credit courses for high school students.

There’s a base funding for some community colleges that were really struggling to survive because they had really low property taxes, really low tuition and fees. The second one was performance-based, and that’s what ours is it involved in what we do in many ways,” McKown said.

 So far, community colleges are paying off big.

Texas graduates earn more than $9.8 billion each year, which could change for generations to come.

“This is just a transformational way and an investment in the state of Texas for more workforce and for more people to help their families,” McKown said.