THECB Recommendation on Stimulus Funding

(2:14) Dr. Raymund Paredes, commissioner of higher education, testified about the availability of stimulus funding for higher education. He outlined the funds that would become available as a result of the passage of the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Out of $53.6 billion to be used for state fiscal stabilization, $48.5 billion would be allocated by the governor. From the $48.5 billion, $3.97 billion will be used for education. He referred to a report entitled, "Funding for Higher Education in the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act." Paredes offered the board's recommendations: two-thirds (of the $3.97 billion) should go to public education; the remaining third ($1.325 billion), should go to Higher Ed. Of this $1.325 billion, 50% should be used to modernize and renovate institutions, and the other half would mitigate the need to raise tuitions and fees. An increase of Pell Grant funding and its impact was discussed. Representative Castro asked about improving retention rates at community colleges and noted that 60% of community college students need some amount of remedial education. Paredes mentioned additional funding for grants (that might become available) as well as a "pot of money" for improving K-12 (that would become available later).