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Blinn sets legislative priorities in advance of the 85th Texas Legislative Session

Blinn seeks increased funding for community colleges to strengthen workforce training programs, keep student costs low

August 16, 2016

In advance of the 85th Texas Legislative Session, Blinn College will ask state lawmakers to provide community colleges the resources to continue offering high-impact academic and career training programs at an affordable rate for students.

Blinn’s Board of Trustees approved six legislative priorities for the College at its regular board meeting Tuesday night in Brenham. Those priorities are:

  1. Blinn supports the state funding goals for community colleges as adopted by the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) and Community College Association of Texas Trustees (CCATT). This includes increasing core funding for each community college district by $250,000 per year; funding student success points at a minimum of $185 per point; and increasing state funding for community college instruction by $45 million, allowing community colleges to meet workforce skill demands, increase dual credit courses, and expand educational opportunities for all students.
  2. Blinn College supports enhanced policies, programs and associated funding to strengthen the workforce development services and initiatives as adopted by TACC and CCATT.
  3. Blinn College supports an increase in state funding to further Blinn College’s efforts to provide an affordable higher education for all students.
  4. Blinn College is committed to strengthening its business and industry partnerships and to enhancing workforce development in all of its service area.
  5. Blinn College supports additional state funding to offset the rising expenses associated with Hazlewood exemptions.
  6. Blinn College supports maintenance of the existing level of state funding for the operation of the Star of the Republic Museum.

Increased state support would help Blinn and other Texas community colleges meet expanded demand for their services. Texas community colleges have seen an enrollment increase of more than 70 percent since 2000, and 78 percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree from a Texas university have community college credit on their transcript.

“These priorities are designed to provide adequate support for community colleges across the state,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, District President/CEO. “These funds would allow Texas community colleges to strengthen business partnerships, enhance workforce development, fund expanded programs and services, and ensure that higher education remains affordable for Texas students.”

For more information regarding Blinn and its role in the upcoming legislative session, please visit: www.blinn.edu/gov_public/legislative_matters.html.

In other business, the board voted to set the 2016 tax rate at $0.0601 per $100 of property value, matching the 2015 tax rate. Blinn anticipates just under $1.8 million in tax revenue.

Blinn taxes are collected only in Washington County, and by law, property tax revenue can only be utilized for maintenance and operations in Washington County. According to an economic impact study published in 2014, state and local taxpayers receive a 9.4 percent annual rate of return on their investment in the Blinn-Brenham campus.