Community Colleges in Texas Find Creative Ways Around Decreased Funding in Response to Low Enrollment
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board released its preliminary headcount for Texas schools in fall 2021, revealing an 11% loss of enrollment at Texas’s community colleges since 2019.
“Sadly, the pandemic has had a disparate impact on community colleges, and it’s hit everyone,” said Jacob Fraire, president of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC). “When we look at reductions in enrollment, there’s no pattern between urban and rural. Everyone saw reductions.”
Jacob Fraire, TACC presidentTexas’s 50 community colleges were granted a type of reprieve from its state legislature, said Fraire. Normally a drop in enrollment across the state would impact the entirety of state funding. During the pandemic, the Texas legislature did not reduce overall funding.
However, the state distributes funding biennially, using a formula that does take enrollment into consideration. Schools that saw an enrollment reduction in fall 2020, the year funding was distributed, received less than their previous allocation of state funds. Twenty-one colleges were negatively impacted.