This website will be unavailable from Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, June 3, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.

 
 
  H.B. No. 4005
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment of the Texas Competency-Based
  Education Grant Program for certain students enrolled in
  competency-based baccalaureate degree programs and to formula
  funding and dropped and repeated course restrictions for students
  enrolled in those degree programs at public institutions of higher
  education.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 56, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter T to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER T. TEXAS COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION GRANT PROGRAM
         Sec. 56.521.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Competency-based baccalaureate degree program"
  means a baccalaureate degree program under which academic credit is
  awarded based solely on a student's attainment of competencies.
  The term may include a program that is organized around traditional
  course-based units, including for online or other distance
  education, that a student must earn for degree completion.
               (2)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (3)  "Eligible institution" means:
                     (A)  a general academic teaching institution;
                     (B)  a private or independent institution of
  higher education;
                     (C)  a public junior college authorized to offer
  baccalaureate degree programs under Subchapter L, Chapter 130; or
                     (D)  a nonprofit, tax-exempt, regionally
  accredited college or university operating in accordance with a
  memorandum of understanding with this state under an executive
  order issued by the governor and offering competency-based,
  exclusively online baccalaureate degree programs.
               (4)  "Expected family contribution" means the amount of
  discretionary income that should be available to a student from the
  resources of the student and of the student's family, as determined
  by the coordinating board following the methodology prescribed by
  the United States Department of Education for the purpose of
  determining a student's eligibility for need-based student
  financial assistance.
               (5)  "General academic teaching institution," "private
  or independent institution of higher education," and "public junior
  college" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.
               (6)  "Program" means the Texas Competency-Based
  Education Grant Program established under this subchapter.
         Sec. 56.522.  PURPOSE. The purpose of the Texas
  Competency-Based Education Grant Program is to provide financial
  assistance to enable eligible students to enroll in
  competency-based baccalaureate degree programs at eligible
  institutions.
         Sec. 56.523.  ADMINISTRATION OF PROGRAM; PRIORITY FOR
  FINANCIAL NEED. (a) The coordinating board shall:
               (1)  administer the program;
               (2)  using the negotiated rulemaking procedures under
  Chapter 2008, Government Code, adopt rules for determining the
  allocation of funds under the program among eligible institutions;
  and 
               (3)  adopt any other rules necessary to implement the
  program or this subchapter.
         (b)  The coordinating board shall consult with the student
  financial aid officers of eligible institutions in developing the
  rules adopted under Subsection (a).
         (c)  The total amount of grants awarded under the program may
  not exceed the amount available for the program from
  appropriations, gifts, grants, or other funds.
         (d)  In determining who should receive a grant under the
  program, the coordinating board and the eligible institutions shall
  give highest priority to awarding grants to students who
  demonstrate the greatest unmet financial need.
         Sec. 56.524.  INITIAL ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANT. (a) To be
  eligible initially for a grant under the program, a person must:
               (1)  be a resident of this state as determined by
  coordinating board rules;
               (2)  meet financial need requirements as defined by
  coordinating board rules, including a requirement that the person's
  expected family contribution for the academic year does not exceed
  the maximum expected family contribution established for this
  purpose by the coordinating board;
               (3)  be enrolled in a competency-based baccalaureate
  degree program at an eligible institution;
               (4)  not be receiving a TEXAS grant under Subchapter M,
  a tuition equalization grant under Subchapter F, Chapter 61, or any
  other state-funded student financial assistance for the same
  academic period; and
               (5)  comply with any additional nonacademic
  requirement adopted by the coordinating board under this
  subchapter.
         (b)  A person is not eligible to receive a grant under the
  program if the person has been granted a baccalaureate degree.
         (c)  A person's eligibility for a grant under the program
  ends on the earliest of the following dates:
               (1)  the fourth anniversary of the initial award of a
  grant under the program to the person, if at the time of the initial
  award the person had earned less than 60 semester credit hours or an
  equivalent number of competency units or credits toward the
  person's degree; 
               (2)  the second anniversary of the initial award of a
  grant under the program to the person, if at the time of the initial
  award the person had earned 60 or more semester credit hours or an
  equivalent number of competency units or credits toward the
  person's degree; or
               (3)  the date the person receives a baccalaureate
  degree.
         Sec. 56.525.  CONTINUING ELIGIBILITY AND ACADEMIC
  PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS. (a) After initially qualifying for a
  grant under the program, a person may continue to receive a grant
  under the program during each semester or term in which the person
  is enrolled at an eligible institution only if the person:
               (1)  meets the criteria for initial eligibility under
  Section 56.524(a);
               (2)  makes satisfactory academic progress toward a
  baccalaureate degree; and
               (3)  complies with any additional nonacademic
  requirement adopted by the coordinating board.
         (b)  If a person fails to meet any of the requirements of
  Subsection (a) after the completion of any semester or term, the
  person may not receive a grant under the program during the next
  semester or term in which the person enrolls. Unless the person's
  eligibility for a grant expires under Section 56.524(c), a person
  may become eligible to receive a grant under the program in a
  subsequent semester or term if the person:
               (1)  completes at least 12 semester credit hours or an
  equivalent number of competency units or credits in a semester or
  term during which the student is not eligible for a grant; and
               (2)  meets all the requirements of Subsection (a).
         (c)  For the purpose of this section, a person makes
  satisfactory academic progress toward a baccalaureate degree only
  if the person completes at least 12 semester credit hours or an
  equivalent number of competency units or credits in each semester
  or term in which the person is enrolled.
         (d)  The coordinating board shall adopt rules to allow a
  person who is otherwise eligible to receive a grant under the
  program to receive a grant if the student's completion rate falls
  below the satisfactory academic progress requirements of this
  section in the event of a hardship or for other good cause shown,
  including:
               (1)  a showing of a severe illness or other
  debilitating condition that may affect the person's academic
  performance; or
               (2)  a showing that the person is responsible for the
  care of a sick, injured, or needy person and that the person's
  provision of care may affect the person's academic performance.
         Sec. 56.526.  GRANT USE. A grant awarded under the program
  may be applied only to the payment of tuition and required fees at
  an eligible institution.
         Sec. 56.527.  GRANT AMOUNT. (a) The amount of a grant
  awarded under the program to a full-time undergraduate student
  equivalent enrolled at an eligible institution for an academic year
  may not exceed the lesser of:
               (1)  the difference between the amount of tuition and
  required fees charged to the student by the institution for that
  academic year and the amount of any other gift aid, including state
  or federal grants or scholarships, awarded to the student for that
  academic year; or
               (2)  $500.
         (b)  The coordinating board may adopt rules that allow the
  coordinating board to increase or decrease, in proportion to the
  number of semester credit hours or competency units or credits in
  which a student is enrolled, the amount of a grant award to a
  student who is enrolled in a number of semester credit hours or
  competency units or credits in excess of or below 12 semester credit
  hours or an equivalent number of competency units or credits.
         Sec. 56.528.  GRANT NOT TO AFFECT ADMISSION.  An eligible
  institution may not deny admission to or enrollment in the
  institution based on a person's eligibility to receive a grant
  under the program or a person's receipt of a grant under the
  program.
         SECTION 2.  Section 51.907, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  This section does not apply to a student enrolled in a
  competency-based baccalaureate degree program, as defined by
  Section 56.521.
         SECTION 3.  Section 61.059, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (s) to read as follows:
         (s)  Notwithstanding any other law, the board may not exclude
  from being counted in the hours reported to the Legislative Budget
  Board for formula funding contact hours or semester credit hours
  for a student's enrollment in a course for which the student has
  previously generated formula funding if the student is enrolled in
  a competency-based baccalaureate degree program, as defined by
  Section 56.521.
         SECTION 4.  Section 61.0595, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (f-1) to read as follows:
         (f-1)  In the formulas established under Section 61.059, the
  board shall include without consideration of Subsection (a) or (e)
  of this section funding for semester credit hours earned by a
  student who is enrolled in a competency-based baccalaureate degree
  program, as defined by Section 56.521.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter C, Chapter 61, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 61.088 to read as follows:
         Sec. 61.088.  DROPPED OR REPEATED COURSES UNDER
  COMPETENCY-BASED BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAM. The board by rule
  shall develop standards for and limitations on dropping or
  repeating courses by students enrolled in a competency-based
  baccalaureate degree program, as defined by Section 56.521.
         SECTION 6.  Section 51.907(b-1), Education Code, as added by
  this Act, applies beginning with the fall 2023 semester.
         SECTION 7.  (a)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating
  Board shall adopt rules to administer Subchapter T, Chapter 56,
  Education Code, as added by this Act, as soon as practicable after
  the effective date of this Act.
         (b)  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall
  begin allocating funds to eligible institutions under Subchapter T,
  Chapter 56, Education Code, as added by this Act, for the first
  academic year for which money is appropriated for that purpose,
  except that the coordinating board may not allocate funds under
  that subchapter for an academic year before the 2024-2025 academic
  year.
         SECTION 8.  The changes in law made by this Act to Sections
  61.059 and 61.0595, Education Code, apply beginning with funding
  recommendations made under Section 61.059, Education Code, for the
  state fiscal biennium beginning September 1, 2025.
         SECTION 9.  The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  shall adopt rules under Section 61.088, Education Code, as added by
  this Act, as soon as practicable after this Act takes effect.
         SECTION 10.  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, 2023.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4005 was passed by the House on April
  25, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 116, Nays 31, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4005 was passed by the Senate on May
  16, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 26, Nays 5.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor