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  81R1545 JRJ-D
 
  By: Shapiro S.B. No. 326
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to stabilizing the amount of tuition charged to certain
  residents of this state by general academic teaching institutions.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 54, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 54.016 to read as follows:
         Sec. 54.016.  TUITION STABILIZATION. (a) In this section:
               (1)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (2)  "General academic teaching institution" has the
  meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
         (b)  This section applies only to a student who:
               (1)  enrolls at a general academic teaching
  institution as a first-time freshman;
               (2)  after satisfying the requirement of Subdivision
  (1), remains continuously enrolled at a general academic teaching
  institution until graduation, except as provided under rules
  adopted under Subsection (g); and
               (3)  at all times while the student is enrolled at a
  general academic teaching institution, is a resident of this state
  for purposes of Subchapter B or is otherwise entitled to pay tuition
  and fees at the rate provided for residents of this state.
         (c)  Except as provided under rules adopted under Subsection
  (g), this section applies only to the amount of tuition charged
  under this chapter to a student as follows:
               (1)  for a student enrolled in a four-year degree
  program, on or before the fourth anniversary of the date the student
  first enrolls in a general academic teaching institution; or
               (2)  for a student enrolled in a degree program of any
  other length, not later than the end of the standard completion
  period for that program, as established by the general academic
  teaching institution awarding the degree.
         (d)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter but
  subject to the applicability provisions of this section, a general
  academic teaching institution may not charge to a student for any
  course in which the student enrolls after the student's freshman
  year tuition at a rate that exceeds the rate in effect for that
  course during the student's freshman year or, for a course that was
  not offered during the student's freshman year, a rate that exceeds
  the rate in effect for an equivalent course during the student's
  freshman year.
         (e)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter but
  subject to the applicability provisions of this section, if a
  student transfers from one general academic teaching institution to
  another, the institution to which the student transfers may not
  charge to the student for any course in which the student enrolls
  after the student's freshman year tuition at a rate that exceeds the
  rate in effect for that course at the receiving institution during
  the student's freshman year or, for a course that was not offered at
  the receiving institution during the student's freshman year, a
  rate that exceeds the rate in effect for an equivalent course at the
  receiving institution during the student's freshman year.
         (f)  In consultation with general academic teaching
  institutions, the coordinating board shall adopt any rules
  necessary to administer this section, including:
               (1)  rules relating to the equivalency of courses
  offered during a student's freshman year and courses in which the
  student enrolls after the student's freshman year;
               (2)  rules consistent with Subsection (e) that:
                     (A)  provide for determining tuition rates for
  students who transfer among general academic teaching
  institutions; and
                     (B)  prescribe the types of documentation a
  transfer student must submit to establish eligibility under that
  subsection; and
               (3)  rules as described by Subsection (g) to allow
  students to suspend their enrollment or giving students additional
  time to complete their degree programs.
         (g)  The coordinating board shall adopt rules to allow a
  student to pay the tuition rates as provided by Subsection (d) or
  (e), as applicable, if the student satisfies the other requirements
  of this section but, solely as a result of a hardship or other good
  cause shown, is unable to remain continuously enrolled at a general
  academic teaching institution as required by Subsection (b)(2) or
  to complete the student's degree program before the applicable date
  described by Subsection (c).  For purposes of this subsection, a
  hardship or other good cause shown includes a showing of:
               (1)  a severe illness or other debilitating condition
  that affects the student's ability to satisfy the requirement of
  Subsection (b)(2) or (c); or
               (2)  the student's responsibility for the care of a
  sick, injured, or needy person if the provision of care affects the
  student's ability to satisfy the requirement of Subsection (b)(2)
  or (c).
         (h)  This section does not apply to a student who enters a
  general academic teaching institution for the first time before the
  2009 fall semester. This subsection expires January 1, 2015.
         SECTION 2.  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  shall adopt rules for the administration of Section 54.016,
  Education Code, as added by this Act, as soon as practicable after
  this Act takes effect. For that purpose, the coordinating board may
  adopt the initial rules in the manner provided by law for emergency
  rules.
         SECTION 3.  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, 2009.