|No Wonder Dusty's kicking up a storm. Ol' Rick Perry wants to cut TAMIU's budget|
By Veronica Flores-Paniagua From The San Antonio Express-News
The Legislature has used the mechanism known as “special-item” funding to help these struggling schools. It sounds like frills, but what special-item funding pays for in border schools is far from anything that could be regarded as “extra.” As UT-Brownsville President Juliet Garcia explained, the set-aside pool has helped border institutions expand their degree offerings, which, in turn, has led to booming enrollments.Ms. Flores-Paniagua goes on to write about several of South Texas' schools and their dire financial situations. Laredo's own Texas A&M International University is included and the picture is also grimm.
Still, the state's funding formula puts schools like these, with their exploding enrollments, at a continual disadvantage because it's based only on past growth. What that means for a university like TAMIU is profound: The school's enrollment doubled in the past 10 years.The student body resembles that of others in South Texas and along the border. About half of the students are first in their families to go to college. More than 90 percent are minorities and most receive some type of financial aid.