BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

H.B. 3462

By: Morales Shaw

Higher Education

Committee Report (Unamended)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

Concerns have been raised around the availability of resources to assist postsecondary students who are parents. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over a quarter of all Texas undergraduate college students are raising children. An estimated 44 percent of students who are doing so nationally are without the support of a partner, and 72 percent of single parents in college are women. Parenting responsibilities for a student correlate with much lower odds of completing a degree or certificate within six years of enrollment. H.B. 3462 seeks to address these concerns by providing for the designation of a liaison officer at each public institution of higher education to assist and provide information to students who are the parent or guardian of a child younger than 18 years of age.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in SECTIONS 1 and 3 of this bill.

 

ANALYSIS

 

H.B. 3462 amends the Education Code to require each public institution of higher education to designate at least one employee to act as a liaison officer for current or incoming students at the institution who are the parent or guardian of a child younger than 18 years of age. The bill requires the liaison officer to provide information to such students regarding support services and other resources available to the students at the institution, including the following:

         resources to access medical and behavioral health coverage and services and public benefit programs;

         parenting and child care resources;

         employment assistance;

         transportation assistance;

         student academic success strategies; and

         any other resources developed by the institution to assist the students.

 

H.B. 3462 requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to designate at least one THECB employee to act as a liaison officer for current or incoming students at institutions of higher education who are the parent or guardian of a child younger than 18 years of age. The bill requires the liaison officer to assist in coordinating college readiness and student success efforts relating to those students and requires the THECB to adopt rules to implement the bill's provisions relating to the liaison officer.

 

H.B. 3462 requires an institution, not later than May 1 of each academic year, to submit to the THECB a report containing specified information regarding applicable students enrolled at the institution. The bill requires the THECB to adopt rules to administer the bill's provisions, including rules to ensure compliance with federal law regarding confidentiality of student medical or educational information and any state law relating to the privacy of student information.

 

H.B. 3462 applies beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

On passage, or, if the bill does not receive the necessary vote, September 1, 2021.