The bill, authored by Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas), Chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, initially received strong bi-partisan support in the House, earning 118 of 150 possible votes. Earlier this week, the Senate passed the bill unanimously, 30-0.
HB 9 directs the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to recommend a portion of state funding for colleges and universities on undergraduate completions, at-risk and critical field graduations, and other student outcome measures. In addition to undergraduate performance measures, HB 9 calls for a new incentive funding program known as "momentum points" for Texas' two-year colleges. The legislation provides incentives for community colleges to encourage student success and degree completion. Current formula funding is calculated on student enrollment numbers on the 12th day of classes.
The bill also requires the THECB to regularly review the outcomes-based funding model with universities, and submit a report that identifies various best practices to the newly formed Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency. Rep. Branch co-chairs the oversight committee with Sen. Judith Zaffirini, the bill's co-sponsor & Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee.