Austin Community College's (ACC) Board of Trustees approved its initial state and federal legislative priorities for 2019 during the regular board meeting January 14.
These policy initiatives are consistent with the college's mission to promote student success and community development by providing affordable access to higher education and workforce training throughout our service area.
ACC's priorities for the 86th Texas Legislative Session include:
Investing in Texas community colleges
ACC seeks an eight percent, or $144 million, overall increase in state formula funding for the 2020-2021 biennium to correlate with the projected growth in contact hours and student success points and inflationary increases.
Increasing investments in workforce education
ACC seeks an increase in funding to broaden the reach of career and technical education dual credit offerings and workforce continuing education opportunities and to sustain state funding for workforce training programs Skills Development Fund and Jobs and Education for Texans.
Expanding equitable access to high-quality dual-credit programs
ACC seeks to establish a state goal for dual credit, establish a state task force to study equitable access to quality dual credit programs across the state, and expand student eligibility for the Texas Education Opportunity Grant program.
Federal legislative priorities approved by the board include:
Strengthening Pell Grants
ACC seeks to expand eligibility for short-term grants, increase the maximum award, and allow incarcerated individuals access to Pell Grants.
Investing in education and workforce development
ACC seeks to increase investments in higher education and workforce development, support student access and success, strengthen under-resourced institutions, and bolster job training and career and technical education.
Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act
ACC opposes federal financial penalties based on borrowing, student aid, or outcomes and supports reducing debt for community college students and creating a National Student Unit Record Data System to track completion and earnings.
ACC seeks to assist students impacted by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals rescission by enacting the Dream Act to provide them permanent legal status.
ACC supports funding to bolster partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train workers to build our nation's infrastructure and invest in community college facilities and equipment.
Additional public-policy priorities will be discussed during the board's February meeting.
For more information about ACC's public-policy agenda, contact Dr. Molly Beth Malcolm, executive vice president of Campus Operations and Public Affairs, at 512-223-7638 or Chris Cervini, associate vice president of Community and Public Affairs, at 512-223-7619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.