Use higher ed funding formula

One of the challenges experienced by every legislative session that I served was the funding mechanism used to fund higher education. It was a time consuming, cobbled together system built on past unfair distribution.

The 2011 Legislature directed that a new funding mechanism be created that would address these issues. Gov. Dalrymple put together a balanced working group of experienced campus business managers who gathered for several months and developed a simple, clear and logical plan that is based on credits completed and on the actual costs of educating students. The formula treats our students fairly and provides an incentive to improve retention and graduation rates at the campuses. The Senate passed SB 2200 unanimously, and it is now being heard in the House.

I understand the State House of Representative Appropriations subcommittee has now gutted the concept of the formula and has offered amendments to the funding bill that reverts back to the current level of funding distributed under the old formula. A few of the legislators believe that they need to conduct their own study during the next legislative interim. The call for a study is curious since they were instructed to do it during the last interim and did not.

The new funding formula is supported by all the state’s institutions of higher learning and the chancellor of higher education, and I am hoping that everyone encourages their state representatives to support it. It is good public policy.