Governor Greg Abbott has announced the State of Texas will invest an additional $94.6 million in federal funds to support higher education.
According to Abbott, the governor allocated $175 million to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to support Texas higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This additional funding in higher education is an investment in job opportunities, our state's economy, and a brighter future for Texas," Governor Abbott said. "As we move forward from the pandemic, it is critical that we continue to support higher education to ensure more Texans are trained to face dynamic and unique challenges that will set them apart from others, and make them more competitive, in their field."
The federal funds come from Governor's Emergency Education Relief dollars that were made available through passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said the funding will help ensure that higher education institutions are able to equip students quickly to take their place in the Texas workforce and ensure the global economy continues to prosper.
This next round of funding will help to ensure Texas students have the skills they need for tomorrow's jobs, while bridging access for adults, transfer, and low-income students, and increasing capacity for high-value programs and credentials.
According to Abbott's office, the funding 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," Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller said. "This dilemma requires strategic solutions and Texas higher education will play a pivotal role in empowering our state's talent pipeline. We're grateful for the leadership and support of Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, Speaker Phelan, and the entire Texas Legislature."
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The Governor's investment in higher education will help ensure more Texans are qualified for available jobs while providing the necessary aid and supports for critical student populations, Abbott's office said.