Blinn College anticipates several million dollars less in state funding in the coming fiscal year due to changes in Texas’ community college funding model.

During discussion by Blinn trustees on Tuesday regarding the College’s proposed – and later approved – $129.3 million budget, Blinn Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Dr. Clen Burton said administrators learned in mid-May that the state would reduce appropriations to Blinn by $4.4 million, going from $32.7 million received in the current fiscal year to an estimated $28.3 million in the upcoming year. 

Blinn did get news last week that after the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reran its models based on co-enrollment data provided by the College, the state restored $1.2 million of that loss, bringing the amount Blinn expects to receive up to $29.5 million.  The overall drop of $3.2 million in state funding is a 9.8 percent decline from the current fiscal year. 

Dr. Burton said this decrease is the most of any community college in the state, but other institutions on average actually reported increases. 

A list of Blinn College's previous and estimated
revenue figures as presented during
Tuesday's Blinn Board of Trustees meeting. The
slide does not include the FY24 actual state
appropriations of $32.7 million or the new estimate
of $29.5 million in state appropriations in FY25.
(Blinn College)

House Bill 8, the community college funding model that was passed in the 88th Texas Legislature in 2023, shifts from funding based on how many hours students spend in the classroom to how many students receive a degree or certificate or transfer to a four-year university.  Governor Greg Abbott said upon the bill’s passage that it “will be an important tool to help enhance the role of public junior colleges in workforce training and preparation for high-demand careers.”

Blinn greatly benefitted from the new funding model in this current fiscal year.  Blinn’s $32.7 million in state funding received for the fiscal year to date is more than what the College initially budgeted for at $26.4 million, and it is also more than the $25.3 million received in the fiscal year prior. 

Executive Vice Chancellor Leighton Schubert told trustees that the new bill adjusted how frequently the state reevaluates the amount of funding it distributes, going from every two years to an annual process.

When asked for additional information about the decline in funding, Blinn Communications Director Richard Bray told KWHI that the Coordinating Board has proposed changing its formulas to count transfer students differently, which particularly impacts Blinn because it is the statewide leader in academic transfers.

Blinn Trustee Randy Wells said it is “very disturbing” that Blinn would experience the highest funding cut out of the 50 junior colleges in Texas despite having the highest transfer rate.  He added that while many other community colleges are tax base-driven, Blinn is tuition-driven, so this “doubly impacts us in a very adverse way.” 

Schubert said the College has engaged with its external partners both within and outside of the Coordinating Board, noting that he met with the board on Monday in Austin.  He said those external outreach efforts will continue, and while he cannot go into much detail at the moment, he expects there will be items related to this issue in next year’s legislative session. 

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