By George                                            H.C.R. No. 281
         77R15521 JLZ-D                           
                             HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
 1-1           WHEREAS, The Texas system of public higher education
 1-2     encompasses 35 general academic teaching institutions; three
 1-3     lower-level only institutions; 50 community and junior college
 1-4     districts; one technical college with four main campuses and three
 1-5     extension centers; nine health-related institutions, including
 1-6     seven state medical schools; three dental schools; and numerous
 1-7     allied health and nursing units; and
 1-8           WHEREAS, Altogether, these public institutions serve more
 1-9     than 835,000 students, approximately 800,000 of whom are enrolled,
1-10     in nearly equal proportions, at the 35 public senior colleges and
1-11     universities and the various community and junior colleges; and
1-12           WHEREAS, While student tuition and fees help finance a
1-13     significant portion of this system of higher education, Texas
1-14     colleges and universities also rely on state support to meet the
1-15     demands placed on higher education in the state; General Revenue
1-16     appropriations for senior colleges and universities totaled $3.3
1-17     billion for the 2000-2001 biennium, while the All Funds
1-18     appropriations for those 35 institutions totaled $4.4 billion; and
1-19           WHEREAS, Approximately $3.4 billion of the All Funds total,
1-20     or more than three-fourths of state funding for public senior
1-21     colleges and universities, was appropriated for formula funding;
1-22     the formulas used in this system consist of four elements that
1-23     allocate funds for various purposes and objectives, including
1-24     instructions and operations, supplementing teaching experience,
 2-1     anticipated growth, and infrastructure support; and
 2-2           WHEREAS, While community and junior colleges are largely
 2-3     supported by a combination of local property taxes and student
 2-4     tuition and fees, they also receive state support for some
 2-5     administrative and instructional services, with funds distributed
 2-6     according to a formula based on contact hours generated in a base
 2-7     period; and in recent years, the methodology for funding
 2-8     health-related institutions has incorporated formulas as well; and
 2-9           WHEREAS, Texas Education Code provisions relating to higher
2-10     education funding require the state's funding policies to "allocate
2-11     resources efficiently and provide incentives for programs of
2-12     superior quality and for institutional diversity while discouraging
2-13     unnecessary duplication of course offerings between institutions as
2-14     well as discouraging unnecessary construction on any campus"; and
2-15           WHEREAS, In addition to entrusting the Texas Higher Education
2-16     Coordinating Board with broad policymaking authority over higher
2-17     education, the Education Code also requires the board to develop,
2-18     implement, and periodically review and revise formulas for use by
2-19     the governor and the Legislative Budget Board in making
2-20     appropriation recommendations to the legislature for all
2-21     institutions of higher education; and
2-22           WHEREAS, While the legislature appropriately has delegated
2-23     this vital function to the state agency with general jurisdiction
2-24     over the higher education system in Texas, the legislature
2-25     nevertheless retains the ultimate responsibility to ensure an
2-26     equitable distribution of state funds available for higher
2-27     education; and
 3-1           WHEREAS, Given the magnitude both of state appropriations for
 3-2     higher education and of the role that higher education continues to
 3-3     play as an economic engine for Texas' future, it is imperative that
 3-4     the state ensure the most efficient use of its limited fiscal
 3-5     resources while continuing to meet the demand for public services;
 3-6     now, therefore, be it
 3-7           RESOLVED, That the 77th Legislature of the State of Texas
 3-8     hereby request the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house
 3-9     of representatives to appoint a joint interim committee to study
3-10     the formulas used to allocate funds to institutions of higher
3-11     education; and, be it further
3-12           RESOLVED, That the committee's proceedings and operations be
3-13     governed by such general rules and policies for joint interim
3-14     committees as the 77th Legislature may adopt; and, be it further
3-15           RESOLVED, That the committee submit a full report, including
3-16     findings and recommendations, to the 78th Texas Legislature when it
3-17     convenes in January 2003.