Proposal Could Cut Texas College Funds

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - Colleges could be bracing for more lost cash. A state proposal called "Momentum Points" could lead to even more funding cuts in the midst of a budget shortfall.

The "Momentum Points" proposal is aimed at increasing graduation rates by making sure students take each gradual step to get their diplomas.

But if passed, colleges and universities across the state will be paying a pretty penny.

"For every 5% the budget's reduced, we lose somewhere around a million dollars in state support," Steve Thomas, President of Midland College, said. "We've already been told for sure that our budget will be reduced 10 percent going into the next budget so we're looking at $2 million."

The idea is to cut 10% of the college's base funding and put it toward that goal.

The funds will be given back to the school the more successful their graduation rate is.

But Presidents of Colleges in the Basin say they already factor in that 10% when paying their expenses.

Taking it away means taking away from the programs there.

"Those costs are already going to be on the books regardless of whether your carve it out or not or we get the points or get the money back or not," Greg Williams, President of Odessa College, said.

They added that with the predicted budget shortfall across the state, this proposal would be adding insult to injury.

The proposal is still under consideration in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The Presidents of Midland and Odessa Colleges recommend a 10% funding increase as a reward for good graduation rates as opposed to a cut.

They say they've voiced their concerns to the board, and that they hope they'll be heard.