Office of the Attorney General
Honorable Joe Resweber
Opinion No. H-1253
Re: Payment of tuition for county jail inmates attending classes while incarcerated.
Dear Mr. Resweber:
You have submitted the following question for an opinion from this office:
Is Harris County required to pay tuition to Houston Community College System for inmates that are incarcerated in the Harris County Jail and who are enrolled in the Houston Community College?
We have found no authority which obligates the county to pay the tuition fees of the county jail inmates. Such an expenditure is not required under the county's duty to provide a safe and suitable jail. V.T.C.S. art. 5115. We do not address the question of whether the county has discretion to pay tuition fees of jail inmates. See generally V.T.C.S. art. 5115.1, s 9(a)(4). Educ. Code s 29.01ff; Attorney General Opinion H-652 (1975).
Harris County is not required to pay tuition fees of county jail inmates.
Very truly yours,
John L. Hill
Attorney General of Texas
David M. Kendall
C. Robert Heath
Chairman Opinion Committee