Senate Research Center
AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Interested parties contend that there is a lack of information on the location of job shortages in Texas and on the educational degrees or certificates students should be acquiring in order to fill job openings in Texas. Having this type of information could assist Texas colleges and universities in planning degree programs and course of study offerings and could help meet the demand for workers in applicable industries. C.S.H.B. 1296 seeks to provide information concerning Texas's projected workforce needs through a collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Workforce Commission, and other state agencies.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 7, Education Code, by adding Section 7.040, as follows:
Sec. 7.040. POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES. (a) Requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to prepare information comparing institutions of higher education in this state and post the information on TEA's Internet website. Requires that information prepared under this section be given to a public school student who requests the information. Requires that the information:
(1) identify postsecondary education and career opportunities, including information that states the benefits of four-year and two-year higher education programs, postsecondary technical education, skilled workforce careers, and career education programs;
(2) compare each institution of higher education with other institutions regarding the relative cost of tuition, the retention rate of students, the graduation rate of students, the average student debt, the loan repayment rate of students, and the employment rate of students;
(3) identify the state's future workforce needs, as projected by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC); and
(4) include annual wage information for the top 10 highest demand jobs in this state, as identified by TWC.
(b) Requires TEA to collaborate with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and TWC to obtain the information required under Subsection (a). Requires TEA to incorporate the use of existing materials and develop new materials to be provided to counselors, students, and parents regarding institutions of higher education.
(c) Requires each institution of higher education to include on its Internet website, in a prominent location that is not more than three hyperlinks from the website's home page, a link to the information posted on TEA's Internet website under Subsection (a).
SECTION 2. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 61, Education Code, by adding Section 61.907, as follows:
Sec. 61.0907. REPORT PROJECTING WORKFORCE NEEDS. (a) Requires THECB, in conjunction with TWC and in consultation with any other state agency as requested by THECB or TWC, to collect relevant information and make five-year projections concerning the workforce needs of this state and the educational attainment and training of persons projected to enter the state workforce.
(b) Requires THECB, based on the projections made under Subsection (a), to identify the types and levels of education, training, and skills that are needed to meet the state's future workforce needs and to make recommendations concerning the expansion of existing programs or the development of new programs at public and private postsecondary educational institutions in this state as necessary to meet the projected workforce needs.
(c) Authorizes a postsecondary educational institution to use the recommendations made under Subsection (b) in planning for degree programs, coursework offerings, and training programs.
(d) Requires THECB, not later than February 1, 2015, to prepare and submit electronically to each standing legislative committee with primary jurisdiction over higher education or workforce development, each public and private postsecondary educational institution in this state, and TEA a report of the information collected and analyzed under this section, including recommendations of THECB for programming at postsecondary educational institutions. Authorizes THECB to provide subsequent updates to the report as THECB considers necessary.
(e) Provides that this section expires August 31, 2017.
SECTION 3. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2013.