State lawmakers get warning that state higher-ed goals outstrip state funding: The state commissioner of higher education, Raymund Paredes, warned the Senate Higher Education Committee today that public colleges and universities can no longer be expected to do more with less. He noted that over the past 10 to 15 years Texas higher education has managed to improve graduation rates by 12 percent, despite budget cutbacks. Now, though, said Paredes, some enrollment declines have been seen at community colleges, and the overall outlook for higher-ed institutions is that “further decreases in state support will lead to significant decreases in quality and access.”
Without more state support, Paredes said, it will be “a stretch” for Texas to reach the state’s much-touted goal of having 60 percent of young adults age 25 to 34 holding a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030 without any further increases in student college debt. The current rate is just 41.9 percent, the commissioner reported. Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) asked the commissioner to tally the resources needed to reach the 60×30 goal and said the Legislature will deserve to be held responsible if those resources are not provided.
March for Our Lives this Saturday: On Saturday, March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets in marches across the country to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities.
The march in Austin ending at the state Capitol is shaping up to be a massive gathering, with more than 16,000 RSVPs so far. You can view the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1555232054598399/ more info on that event. But there are more than 50 other marches in cities across Texas. You can search for an event near you here: https://event.marchforourlives.com/event/march-our-lives-events/search/.