By Megan Wehring
Gov. Greg Abbott announced the state of Texas will invest an additional $94.6 million in federal funds to support higher education. Last year, the state allocated $175 million to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to support higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal funds come from Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) dollars that were made available through passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
This next round of funding will continue to provide support to ensure Texas students have the skills they need for jobs, while also bridging access for adults, transfer, and low-income students and increasing capacity for high-value programs and credentials. This includes:
- $48.1 million to rapidly expand capacity for high-demand and high-value educational opportunities, including $5 million for work-based learning and apprenticeships.
- $28.5 million to accelerate enrollments, support high-potential students, and provide financial aid for critical student populations.
- $10 million to establish the My Texas Future program to provide curated one-stop advising resources to help traditional Texas students and adult learners to connect with higher education opportunities across the state.
- $4 million to expand outreach and engagement of adult learners to meet workforce demands of the state and its employers.
- $4 million to bolster Tri-Agency data information security and accessibility.
“As we transition from pandemic response to economic recovery, a key dilemma our state faces is the significant gap between the skills and credentials many Texans possess, and the needs of employers today and into the future,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “This dilemma requires strategic solutions and Texas higher education will play a pivotal role in empowering our state’s talent pipeline.”
“Higher education is more important than ever to better train and prepare Texans to enter our state’s dynamic post-Covid economy. This funding will help ensure our higher [education]institutions are able to equip our students quickly to take their place in the Texas workforce and ensure our global economy continues to prosper,” – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick