Higher Education Committee gets demographic forecast, hears support for community colleges

The House Higher Education Committee met yesterday to get an outlook on post-secondary education and heard from State Demographer Lloyd B. Potter for an overview of the changing population of Texas. Potter said 380,000 new Texans were added between 2017 and 2018, more than any other state, with most growth in the Latino population.

Raymund Paredes, Commissioner for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, told committee members that while the goal is a higher percentage of Texans with higher educational attainment, that Texas is in danger of expanding higher education faster than resources allow. He also stressed that since tuition deregulation in 2003 there has been a net tuition increase of 90 percent, although Texas still ranks around the middle in the nation in terms of higher education affordability. Community colleges in Texas are the third most affordable in the nation, and Paredes said these colleges will be critical to educating poor students in the state and responding to workforce needs. Therefore, he said Texas needs to increase funding and resources to community colleges to keep them accessible to as many students as possible.