Base/ Formula Funding: Our highest priority is additional funding for the basic, on-going operations of our general academic institutions, health science center and agencies through the formulas. The formula funding ensures that our institutions can provide high quality teaching and support services for our growing student populations to prepare them for the workforce.
Tuition Revenue Bonds: While we are maximizing the use of our existing facilities and expanding online course offerings, the demand for new classrooms, labs and technologies continues to increase. Additional funding for new facilities and technology is critical in preparing students to compete in a knowledge-based economy. Unfortunately, the state has not been able to provide any additional TRB support since 2006. With the current low interest rates and construction costs, this is an ideal time to invest in higher education facilities. We request authorization for our institutions’ tuition revenue bond requests in order to meet the needs of our students and the state.
EmpowerU: System-wide Student Success Initiative: University graduates fuel the economic and social growth of the state, and the Texas A&M University System is committed to assuring its students progress to be successful, work-ready graduates. However, students come to Texas A&M University System institutions with varied and significant needs, creating obstacles to that success. Collectively, the student success initiatives of the A&M System target challenges faced by our students. The A&M System requested funding will allow us to not only implement and expand these student success initiatives, but equally important to also track and account for their progress through EmpowerU.
Competitive Knowledge Fund: The Competitive Knowledge Fund is a key performance-based formula initiative that helps Texas A&M hire and retain high-achieving faculty for teaching and research. Last session, the Legislature was able to fund the formula so that eligible institutions received $700,000 per $10 million in total research expenditures—a reduction from $1 million for every $10 million in total research expenditures. We request that the Competitive Knowledge Fund formula be funded to provide $1 million for every $10 million in total research expenditures for each qualified institution.
Support for A&M Agencies: Our A&M Agencies need base funding support much in the same manner as the formulas that provide basic, on-going support for the academics and health related institutions. Additionally, the A&M Agencies have a number of exceptional items that address a broad range of state needs: infrastructure (transportation and water), emergency response, and public and animal health.
Student Financial Aid: Increased support for student financial aid is vitally important for our students and families, and we support increased funding for state financial aid programs, especially TEXAS Grants.
Hazlewood: The existing Hazlewood exemption and the expanded Hazlewood Act, which provides tuition exemptions for the dependents of military veterans, have dramatically increased since 2009. We believe this worthwhile expense is an obligation of the state, rather than an expense to be transferred and absorbed through other students’ tuition and fee payments.