The State of Texas has the 2nd largest Hispanic population in the country and Hispanics currently make up 38 percent of the Texas population.

Almost half of the Kindergarten-12th grade (K-12) student population is Hispanic in Texas. Demographic projections indicate that within a generation our state will have an outright Hispanic majority.

Our responsibility, as the Texas Legislature, is to make sure Texas continues its present prosperity by effectively preparing for this shift in state demographics.

The Legislature is preparing for this demographic swing by focusing on the strengths and needs of the evolving student population and the institutions that serve these students. I work closely with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help implement their various programs to help increase Hispanic s’ higher education access and completion.

These programs provide grassroots initiatives, access to peer support and accelerated academic instruction that moves students through education to employment within a few months. Currently, 16 percent of Hispanic adults (25 and older) have earned an associate degree or higher, compared to 32 percent of all adults. These numbers show the need for programs that assist Hispanic student’s access higher education opportunities and prepare them for success in college.

The connection between education and prosperity is undeniable. Preparing the Hispanic population to earn higher education credentials and degrees is very important for the state’s economic future. The legislature will continue to explore state policies that will help student success.