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Trace: at MMR_Render.Press_Release.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) Villarreal Announces $224 Million in New Funding for TEXAS Grants Program - News from Mike - Representative Mike Villarreal - District 123 San Antonio

Villarreal Announces $224 Million in New Funding for TEXAS Grants Program

Thursday, April 9, 2009

 

Local Students Launch Social Networking Campaign to Urge State to Improve Its Failing Grade on College Affordability
 
Press Conference
Monday, April 13, 2009
10:00 a.m.
UTSA Downtown Campus
Frio St. Building
(under the breezeway, center of campus)
MEDIA PARKING:  Frio Street Service Circle or Monterey lot visitor spaces. 
Please post credentials.
 
In 2008, a national report on higher education gave Texas an "F" on a college affordability report card, based on the average amount of family income that is dedicated to college tuition after financial aid. On Monday, Representative Villarreal will announce a proposed increase of $224 million in financial aid funding for the next biennium. The increased investment would ensure that funding is available for nearly 70% of students eligible for Texas Grants. As the Texas House prepares to vote on the budget next week, Villarreal will launch a grassroots campaign with students, parents, educators, and local business leaders to urge the Legislature to protect this higher funding level as the budget winds its way through the legislative process. At the press conference, students will sign a larger-than-life petition to the Legislature, begin canvassing the campus to collect signatures, and launch a viral marketing campaign on social networking sites to direct their friends to Villarreal's online petition.
 
Background:
 
Recognizing that local families are struggling even more to pay for college in light of the economic crisis, Villarreal, who sits on the budget-writing committee for the Texas House, secured an additional $224 million in the current version of the budget over what was proposed by the Legislative Budget Board. The full House of Representatives is expected to consider the budget on April 17th.
 
While Texas has made improved investments in financial aid for our students over the past 10 years, we currently fund only 50% of the students who are eligible for the TEXAS Grants program. This year that's 83,000 students. Texas is not globally competitive and faces a downward spiral in both quality of life and economic competitiveness if it fails to educate more of its growing population according to the Legislature's Select Commission on Higher Education.
 
An analysis by the Legislative Budget Board determined that TEXAS Grants are successful at improving students' persistence and success in college.
 
An online press packet is available at www.leaderlisten.org/press