Senate Higher Education Committee Assigned Interim Charges

(AUSTIN) —The Senate Higher Education Committee will begin work immediately on a set of interim charges issued by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, committee Chair Senator Judith Zaffirini announced today.

“I am grateful to Lt. Governor Dewhurst for assigning our committee these critical, timely charges related to higher education in Texas,” Senator Zaffirini said. “They not only reflect the needs and priorities of our state’s colleges and universities, but also are well-aligned with our goals of promoting access, affordability and excellence. Texans can count on our committee to address these charges diligently and thoughtfully. When the next legislative session convenes on Jan. 8, 2013, we will be ready.”

The committee’s charges include:

  • Find ways to enhance financial aid to promote student success.
  • Study and recommend more  effective means of using technology in higher education.
  • Analyze developmental education in Texas and identify ways to better prepare students for higher education.
  • Recommend ways to eliminate barriers to non-traditional students, including students with disabilities.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation passed during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, including Senator Zaffirini’s Senate Bill (SB) 5, which removed burdensome, costly unfunded mandates from higher education institutions and her SB 28, relating to prioritizing TEXAS Grants for high-achieving, low-income      students.

“I am delighted that the first charge on the list calls for enhancing financial aid, a lifeline for many students,” Senator Zaffirini said. ” Preserving and improving this lifeline, especially for first generation and self-supporting students and for working families, is among my top priorities.”

The Senate Higher Education Committee maintains an open door policy, and Senator Zaffirini encourages everyone interested in higher education issues to contact the committee via 512/463-4788. The committee’s Vice Chair is Senator Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and other committee members are Senators Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock; Joan Huffman, R-Southside Place; Kirk Watson, D-Austin; Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio; and Royce West, D-Dallas. Additional information regarding the committee’s work is available via its website, http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c560/c560.htm.

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