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  2007S0501-1 02/26/07
 
  By: Lucio S.B. No. 1131
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to the rates of tuition charged to students of
institutions of higher education.
       BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
       SECTION 1.  Section 54.0513, Education Code, is amended by
amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (a-1) to
read as follows:
       (a)  In addition to amounts that a governing board of an
institution of higher education is authorized to charge as tuition
under the other provisions of this chapter, the governing board[,
under the terms the governing board considers appropriate,] may
charge any student for an academic period an amount designated as
tuition not to exceed the amount charged to the student under
Section 54.051 or 54.0512, as applicable, for that academic period
[that the governing board considers necessary for the effective
operation of the institution].
       (a-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), if the amount of
tuition authorized under Subsection (a) is less than the amount the
governing board of an institution of higher education charged a
similarly situated student for tuition in the 2006-2007 academic
year, the governing board may charge the student a total amount of
tuition not to exceed the amount the governing board charged a
similarly situated student for tuition for the 2006-2007 academic
year. For purposes of this subsection, students are similarly
situated if they share the same residency status, degree program,
course load, course level, tuition exemption status, and other
circumstances affecting the amount of tuition the student is
charged. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board may adopt
rules as necessary to administer this subsection.
       (b)  Subject to the limits provided by Subsections (a) and
(a-1) on the amount designated as tuition charged under this
section, a [A] governing board may set a different tuition rate
under this section for each program and course level offered by each
institution of higher education[. A governing board may set a
different tuition rate] as the governing board considers
appropriate to increase graduation rates, encourage efficient use
of facilities, [or] enhance employee performance, or further
another legitimate purpose of the institution.
       SECTION 2.  Subsections (e) and (f), Section 54.0515,
Education Code, are amended to read as follows:
       (e)  It is the legislature's intent that each institution of
higher education[, as a condition to tuition deregulation under
Section 54.0513,] reasonably implement the following:
             (1)  each institution shall make satisfactory progress
towards the goals provided in its master plan for higher education
and in "Closing the Gaps," the state's master plan for higher
education; and
             (2)  each institution shall meet acceptable
performance criteria, including measures such as graduation rates,
retention rates, enrollment growth, educational quality, efforts
to enhance minority participation, opportunities for financial
aid, and affordability.
       (f)  The committee shall:
             (1)  meet at the call of either chair;
             (2)  monitor and regularly report to the legislature on
each institution of higher education's compliance with the
requirements of Subsection (e); and
             (3)  receive and review information concerning the
affordability and accessibility of higher education[, including
the impact of tuition deregulation].
       SECTION 3.  The changes in law made by this Act apply
beginning with tuition charged by an institution of higher
education for the 2007-2008 academic year. Tuition charged by an
institution of higher education in an academic year before that
academic year is covered by the law in effect before the effective
date of this Act, and the former law is continued in effect for that
purpose.
       SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2007.