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Villarreal Named to Subcommittee to Write Education Budget

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lawmaker Vows to Increase Financial Aid Funding
Austin - Today Rep. Mike Villarreal was named to the five-person House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee tasked with writing the House's first draft of the Texas budget for public and higher education. The appointment to the Subcommittee on Education reflects Rep. Villarreal's ongoing work on public schools and affordable higher education.
Following the appointment, Rep. Villarreal addressed the challenges and priorities for the Subcommittee.  Rep. Villarreal stated:
"My top three priorities are financial aid, financial aid and financial aid.  In drafting the education budget I will focus on boosting financial aid by investing in TEXAS Grants, TEG and TEOG scholarships, as well as incentives for parents to contribute to college savings accounts.  College tuition is rising and families are struggling, yet we only fund TEXAS Grants scholarships for half of all eligible students. I was the first in my family to graduate from college, and I believe very deeply we must give that opportunity to more hard-working young people. If we truly value hard work and aspiration, and want to build our economy, we must not turn smart Texans away from college because they can't afford it."
"In addition to financial aid, I will work to invest in research funding that gives UTSA and others an opportunity reach top tier status, pre-k classes that give every child an opportunity to start school ready to learn, and a school finance system that gives every public school an opportunity to excel."
Appropriations Committee Chairman John Pitts also appointed Reps. Scott Hochberg, Geanie Morrison, Jimmie Don Aycock, and Susan King to the Education Subcommittee.
In addition to his efforts on financial aid on the Appropriations Education Subcommittee, Rep. Villarreal is also working on legislation to limit college tuition increases.