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Relating to the administration by the Texas Workforce Commission of
a workforce diploma pilot program.
A fiscal impact to the state can not be anticipated at this time due to the uncertainty in the number of participants.
SB 1055 would develop a workforce diploma pilot program through the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) that would reimburse diploma-granting entities for successfully assisting adult students in attaining a diploma or industry-recognized workforce certifications. The TWC would reimburse approved program providers in the order in which invoices are received until all funds available for the program are exhausted.
Texas Action is opposed to SB 1055 on the basis of limited government and personal responsibility. Providing taxpayer subsidized adult education is not the proper role of government. If it is in the interest of workforce development to have a workforce diploma program, private businesses that stand to gain from employing certified individuals can pool resources and create their own training and certification program. Publicly funded education should not be a lifetime entitlement in Texas. The public education system should focus on K-12 and leave adult workforce education to the private sector.
While we maintain our opposition to creating a new taxpayer-funded subsidy program for adult education, we do acknowledge that the approach taken by this legislation is better than some other proposals for similar programs. We particularly endorse the open network approach which allows any diploma-granting entity to participate, and the results-based approach which only disburses funding based on student achievement. This is preferable to funding programs that only allow a narrow scope of qualifying entities to participate or disburse subsidies without accountability for results.