The Louisiana State Senate will consider a measure that would link advanced schooling funding to school performance, The brand new Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The balance was approved by the Senate Education Committee the 2009 week with members signing to the proposal to put more pressure on public colleges and universities to raise their student retention and graduation rates.
Senate Bill 117 would authorize the creation of a 15-member panel that might be charged with developing the metrics by which the state’s public universities’ performances are to be judged for funding purposes. The final proposals would go before the Board of Regents who would have the final say over the implementation.
Although their email list of the criteria hasn’t been finalized, nor how much each would weigh around the final funding decisions, the balance calls for the colleges to focus on timely graduation, dedicating resources to STEM majors, graduation rates and the the graduates’ potential future earnings.
“What we are doing is asking to move to an outcomes-based funding model…for that portion of the university’s funding that\’s the state appropriation,” Appel, who also chairs the committee, said at Wednesday’s meeting.
Around 60 percent of public university funding originates from tuition, fees along with other self-generated sources while 40 % comes from their state.
According to the Times-Picayune, since high tech manufacturing and jobs in wind turbine are vital towards the state’s economic future, colleges that have the ability to produce more specialists in those fields and in the fields laptop or computer science, engineering and mathematics will probably get better access to state funding than those that do not.
As Jim Purcell C he Commissioner of Higher Education C put it, Louisiana public colleges should try to produce employees in high demand upon graduation. He also pointed out that people who think of funding like a zero-sum game are being wrong-headed as it is highly unlikely that the new concentrate on STEM would really damage the schools’ liberal arts programs.
“There’s always an account balance. Certainly you want to make sure we offer the whole plethora better education experience to students within the state. At the same time, state institutions possess a function of attempting to address the workforce and economic needs from the state. So, to me, it is wise for us to reward institutions for addressing those areas,” Purcell said following the meeting.
While committee members raised concerns over whether the 15-member board could agree on a funding mechanism, Appel said he did not foresee this to be a problem because he had already spoken with the stakeholders and they agree with the need for such a discussion.