Texas IAF Fights to Protect ACE Fund from Senate Special Item Cuts

[Excerpts below]

Since 2014, Texas has paid nonprofits across the state to help nearly 800 poor, older students navigate their way through community college….

The programs face uncertain futures because they are funded using a budgeting tactic known as a special item. Those items are used to pay for specific programs at universities by sending the schools that host them money outside the normal higher education funding formulas…..

Next year, that kind of help could end, though not because lawmakers are unhappy with the program. If the Senate gets its way in ongoing state budget negotiations, the Legislature would overhaul the way it pays for higher education in Texas — and funding for the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Grant Program could disappear.

“It has nothing to do with our program or the effectiveness of it,” said Elizabeth Valdez, lead organizer for The Metropolitan Organization in Houston, which is advocating for lawmakers to continue funding the grant….

[Photo Credit: Gabe Hernandez, Texas Tribune]

Commentary: Funds Help Adult Career Program Boost Workforce, Families, Austin American Statesman

State Should Continue Funding ACE Job Training, San Antonio Express-News [pdf]

Proposed Higher Education Funding Overhaul Could Come With Collateral Damage, Texas Tribune

Senate ResolutionSenate of the State of Texas

Texas Job Program Shows Unusually Strong, Lasting Gains, Study FindsAustin American Statesman [pdf]

Study Affirms Project QUEST AchievementsSan Antonio Express-News

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Texas Innovative Adult Career Education (ACE) Grant Program: The Wise Investment for Proven Economic Development, Texas IAF