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Philanthropy Advocates applauds the Texas Senate’s efforts in their current budget proposal

February 6, 2023
As state policymakers begin their work in the 88th Legislature, Texas philanthropy eagerly awaits to see what advancements in policy will be discussed that can support communities both Texas policymakers and funders serve.  This week, the Senate Finance Committee will be discussing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Senate’s budget proposal for the 2023 legislative session. Philanthropy Advocates applauds Senate leaders on many of the initiatives taken to address our state’s education systems – cradle to career – in this Senate budget proposal for the 88th Legislative session.
If the Texas economy is going to remain number one in the nation, significant investments in education are essential. Our recent data shows that 94% of Texans agree that an educated workforce is key to the future economic success of Texas. Additionally, this same percentage of Texans agree that Texas cannot rely on importing talent to maintain its competitive economic edge. An investment in education today is also an investment in our economic future. 
Texas teachers are the workforce behind the workforce. That is why 93%of Texans favor the state addressing teacher compensation, benefits, and working conditions, so that good teachers remain in place to prepare students to be the future workforce. Philanthropy Advocates is grateful to Senate leaders for signaling through SB 1 a priority to support Texas teachers through compensation and benefits to ensure we have highly supported and effectives teachers we need to support the future leaders of our state. 
We urge budget writers to also provide support for our early childhood educators in childcare settings. More than half of this essential workforce require at least one form of public assistance and make on average less than $21,000 annually. Texas has ambitious goals to ensure the state meets our Building a Talent Strong Texas plans of 60% of Texans by 2030 achieving credentials of value. Philanthropy Advocates knows that without a robust childcare sector, Texas parents and adult learners will continue to struggle to access high-quality learning environments for their young children as they pursue their own postsecondary and workforce goals.
As Texas makes great strides towards supporting postsecondary access and completion, we applaud Senate budget authors, including Chairwoman Huffman and Chairman Creighton, for prioritizing investments for our state’s community colleges. SB 1 includes funding that would allow for implementation of the policy recommendations made by the Texas Commission on Community College Finance. Seamless student postsecondary transitions, starting with addressing the recommendations made by the Commission on Community College Finance, will ensure regional economic opportunities for students and employers flourish and continue to grow.
Philanthropy Advocates believes that supporting community colleges is fundamental to the Texas spirit of entrepreneurship and accelerating economic opportunity. 93% of Texans agree that community colleges should be properly funded so they can continue to offer the training needed for people to get a good job or a better job. Additionally, 96% of Texans agree that Texas students should have access to opportunities to earn college credit while they're still in high school through programs such as dual credit, apprenticeships, and career and technical education courses.
We look forward to the next three months as our leaders work to secure our future, and we thank Senate budget authors for their initial and ongoing work to invest in Texas education to advance and current and future workforce.  

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