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Summary: HB 3640 would create an extension center in Ellis County as part of the Texas State Technical System, located south of Dallas. The Texas State Technical College (TSTC) System offers technical-vocational education, and interested parties note that TSTC is Texas’ lone technical college system at a time when demand is growing for technical-vocational education. According to LBB, HB 3640 would have a negative impact of $10.7 million through August, 2015, due to debt-service payments. Debt service payments would continue to cost tens of millions more dollars over the subsequent years.
Analysis: HB 3640 is an unnecessary, costly expenditure that expands the burden placed on Texans to fund higher education. While technical-vocational training is important as an alternative to increasingly expensive four year degrees, This Ellis County extension center is costly, particularly when TSTC already has locations close to the one proposed, including TSTC’s site in Waco. Instead of creating a new branch of TSTC, those wishing to pursue technical-vocational education in the Dallas area can utilize one of TSTC’s surrounding branches or any alternative in the Dallas area. Vote “no” on HB 3640.