Texas public community colleges are funded differently than their four-year counterparts.

“Community colleges were formed by the taxpayers of an area, and so community colleges have tax revenue based on what those voters have approved,” San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer said.

The other two main portions of funding come from tuition and fees, and state appropriations. It’s been that way in Texas for about 50 years.

But Hellyer says it’s that last funding category that’s especially overdue for some rethinking.

“So the allocation between those three different sources has significantly changed,” Hellyer said. “At one point over those 50 years and for quite a bit of that time, community colleges were funded probably 65% from the state. Right now, that allocation is around 24 to 25% across the state for all community colleges. So [that’s] a big change, moving more

AUSTIN, TX – After nearly 50 years, Texas will examine the efficacy of community college state funding through the Commission on Community College Finance (SB 1230, 87-R).  The state’s funding formula for the 50 public community college districts has largely been unchanged since 1973, and state investments, as a percentage of the total community college budgets, have steadily decreased over the past several decades. Community college funding must evolve with the changing needs of Texas’ students, workforce, and employers in an economy that increasingly demands a postsecondary education.
A data-informed examination of state funding dynamics and workforce trends will ensure that community colleges sustain education and training programs responsive to the state’s workforce needs. In 2020, Texas community colleges were the source of 82 percent of Texas’ technical and career education

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

The Texas Success Center is excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Texas Pathways Awards. The Center honored the exemplary work of six colleges for their implementation and scaling of guided pathways. Awardees were celebrated in Dallas, Texas at the Texas Pathways Institute: Onboarding Reimagined with 440 attendees representing Texas colleges statewide. This year’s recipients include Central Texas College, Kilgore College, Tyler Junior College, Texarkana College, Temple College, and Ranger College. In addition to these six institutions, twelve colleges were recognized for their outstanding innovation in the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) program.

Learn more about these exemplar institutions below.


Texas Reskilling & Upskilling through Education

Colleges recognized for TRUE innovation: Alamo Colleges District, Amarillo College, Austin

Austin, TX -- The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) has awarded $26 million in grant funding to 46 public junior colleges, public state colleges, and public technical colleges across Texas to support students impacted by COVID-19. Institutions may use the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) Institutional Capacity Grants to rapidly create, expand, or redesign short-term postsecondary workforce credentials and training programs in high-demand occupational areas. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated how quickly specific jobs and necessary skills can change. We need to get our Texas students and displaced workers onto a fast track to lasting careers that equip them for greater economic mobility,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “We applaud our two-year institutions for committing to this challenge and are grateful to the