Abbott Allocates Additional $94.6M For Higher Education

Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced that the state will invest an extra $94.6 million in federal funding to support higher education.

This round of funding will provide support in hopes of ensuring Texas students have the skills they need for the future. They will also provide access for adults, transfers, and low-income students to high-value programs.

“This additional funding in higher education is an investment in job opportunities, our state’s economy, and a brighter future for Texas,” said Abbott. “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.”

This funding comes a year after Abbott allocated $175 million to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to support higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This round of funding comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) dollars, which were made available through passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The money will be divided into different priorities to expand capacity for high-value educational opportunities. Much of it ($48.1 million) will be dispersed to help rapidly expand capacity for high-demand and high-value educational opportunities. Some will be used to accelerate enrollments and financial aid for students, expand outreach and engagement of adult learners, and bolster Tri Agency data information security and accessibility.

Some $10 million of funding will also be used to establish the My Texas Future program, which will provide advising resources to help traditional Texas students and adult learners across the state connect with higher education opportunities.

Officials say they hope the investment will help ensure students are ready and qualify for available jobs.

“This funding is crucial to Texas students’ future,” said Rep. Mary E. Gonzalez. “As we continue our recovery from COVID-19, it is vital that we provide strategic investments that will support student access to higher education, but also meet the needs for a diverse and growing state like Texas.”

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In other news:

  • First Lady Jill Biden visited Dallas, along with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff to encourage COVID-19 vaccination. She toured a Dallas vaccination site with retired Dallas Cowboy star Emmitt Smith in a bid to boost the COVID-19 vaccination rate, as only about 41% of Texans are fully vaccinated. The Texas Tribune has more.
  • North Texas businesses, sports teams, and the Dallas Regional Chamber launched a new promotion to incentivize more North Texans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Residents of Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, or Denton Counties need to have received the vaccination between June 9 and August 31 to participate. NBCDFW has more. For more information go here.

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