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Tying Degrees to Higher Ed Funding

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

There’s a new effort at the Texas Capitol to tie higher education funding to results -- to use a business term, “productivity.”

And that’s the word Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond used today at an event headlined by State Representative Dan Branch, R-Dallas, the chairman of the House Higher Education Committee.

Branch has a bill connecting the amount of money colleges get from the state to the number of graduates they turn out.

And Hammond suggested that too many Texas institutions of higher learning are less supportive of the idea than they say.

“Publically, their face is that they’re with us, and then they’re explaining there are arm’s-length terms and conditions for accepting this,” Hammond said. “I mean, it almost comes down to the point where if they’re guaranteed more funding under Chairman Branch’s formula, then they’re okay. If there’s any risk to them whatsoever, in terms of them having to increase their productivity, which is the key issue here, then they’re expressing concerns to legislators. I think that’s unfortunate. I think it’s bad public policy, and they need to get in the game.”

Hammond said more than 60 percent of jobs being created today require post-high school degrees or certificates, and that fewer than a third of Texans ages 25 to 34 have those qualifications.

Trey Shaar is an All Things Considered producer, reporter and host. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @treyshaar.
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