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  S.B. No. 441
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment of the Texas Fast Start Program to
  promote rapid delivery of workforce education and development.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 302, Labor Code, is
  amended by adding Section 302.0032 to read as follows:
         Sec. 302.0032.  TEXAS FAST START PROGRAM. (a)  In this
  section:
               (1)  "Fast start program" means a career and technical
  education program designed to help students earn postsecondary
  certificates and degrees and enter into the workforce quickly.
               (2)  "Public junior college," "public state college," 
  and "public technical institute" have the meanings assigned by
  Section 61.003, Education Code.
         (b)  The commission, in partnership with the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board, shall establish and administer the
  Texas Fast Start Program to identify and develop methods to
  support, and shall provide support for, competency-based,
  rapid-deployment education delivery models for use by public junior
  colleges, public state colleges, and public technical institutes.  
  The models must be designed to assist students in maximizing
  academic or workforce education program credit from public junior
  colleges, public state colleges, and public technical institutes to
  expedite the entry of those students into the workforce.
         (c)  The commission shall work collaboratively with the
  Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, public junior colleges,
  public state colleges, and public technical institutes to
  accomplish the purposes of this section.
         (d)  A public junior college, public state college, or public
  technical institute may use the competency-based, rapid-deployment
  education delivery models described by Subsection (b) in developing
  or expanding a fast start program at the college or institute.
         (e)  A fast start program offered by a public junior college,
  public state college, or public technical institute must:
               (1)  focus on the current and future needs of employers
  in this state;
               (2)  enable students to obtain postsecondary
  certificates and degrees at an accelerated pace in high-demand
  fields or occupations, as identified by local employers;
               (3)  incorporate competency-based learning techniques;
               (4)  feature a variety of access channels that are
  uniquely designed to maximize job preparedness for identified
  groups such as veterans, high school graduates, and current
  workforce members seeking retraining; and
               (5)  be designed for rapid deployment statewide.
         (f)  Through the collaboration, the commission may award
  grants to public junior colleges, public state colleges, and public
  technical institutes for:
               (1)  the expansion of existing fast start programs;
               (2)  the development of new fast start programs; and
               (3)  any other activities related to the purposes of
  this section.
         (g)  A grant received under this section may be used only to:
               (1)  support a course or program that prepares students
  for career employment in fields or occupations that are identified
  as high-demand by local employers;
               (2)  finance the initial costs of developing a fast
  start program, including the costs of constructing or renovating
  facilities, purchasing equipment, and other associated expenses;
               (3)  finance the development or expansion of a fast
  start program leading to a postsecondary certificate or degree; or
               (4)  offer a new or expanded dual credit fast start
  program jointly with a public high school.
         (h)  The commission and the Texas Higher Education
  Coordinating Board shall administer the program using money
  appropriated to the commission or board, money received from
  federal or other sources, or money from holding accounts that may be
  used by the commission for the purpose of skills development.
         (i)  The commission and the Texas Higher Education
  Coordinating Board may adopt rules as necessary for the
  administration of this section.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 441 passed the Senate on
  March 26, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 441 passed the House on
  May 15, 2013, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, two
  present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor