Education Watch

A Blog from New America's Education Policy Program

Friday News Roundup: Week of December 10-14

Published:  December 14, 2012

Clare McCann
This post originally appeared on Ed Money Watch.

Indiana higher ed commission wants tuition increase held at inflation

Louisiana’s Jindal administration to announce $129 million in cuts; colleges and health care expected to take big hits

Alabama’s two-year college system seeks $478 million in state funds for next year

Missouri lawmakers consider higher ed funding formula

Indiana higher ed commission wants tuition increase held at inflation
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education this week recommended that the state’s seven public universities hold their increases in tuition and fee costs at or below the rate of inflation over the next two years. The minimal increases in tuition would be a shift for the state university system – one school, Purdue, increased its tuition for in-state students by 4.5 percent  in each of its two most recent two-year tuition hikes. The commission’s recommendation was made in the context of its request for a 7.5 percent, or $128 million, increase in state funding for colleges, financial aid, and capital spending in the forthcoming biennial budget, which will cover fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The commission members are requesting the increase because Indiana lawmakers have cut spending in recent years. A 7.5 percent increase would restore higher education spending to fiscal year 2010 levels. More here…

Louisiana’s Jindal administration to announce $129 million in cuts; colleges and health care expected to take big hits
Because of a budget shortfall that has arisen over the past six months of the current 2013 fiscal year, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is preparing to announce and implement mid-year spending cuts. According to the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference, the shortfall totals $129.2 million this year. Governor Jindal has the authority to make mid-year cuts without lawmakers’ input, provided he does not cross a certain threshold amount, so state legislators will not be able to target the cuts to specific programs. The state’s colleges and health care programs are the largest programs not protected by law from spending reductions, making them the ripest areas for savings and, therefore, cuts. This is the fifth consecutive year in which Jindal has instituted mid-year budget cuts. More here…

Alabama’s two-year college system seeks $478 million in state funds for next year
This week, newly-appointed Chancellor of the two-year college system in Alabama Mark Heinrich requested a 29 percent funding increase from the state for fiscal year 2014, a total of $478.3 million. The request includes $410.7 million for operations, as well as additional funding for capital expenses and maintenance costs. The system has seen significant budget cuts in recent years, so the 29 percent funding bump would restore spending levels for the system to pre-2008 levels, according to the chancellor. A large portion of the budget request would go to a workforce program that provides financial incentives to employers who hire students while they are attending community college. More here…

Missouri lawmakers consider higher ed funding formula
A plan presented this week by staff to the Missouri Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education would reformulate higher education spending and allocate a segment of it according to colleges’ and universities’ performance. The proposal is designed to provide incentives for colleges to improve their performances, much as the state does for a portion of K-12 education funding, rather than base funding exclusively on past allocations and the total available dollars, which is how money is currently allocated to postsecondary institutions. Under the new proposal, the state would fund 35 percent of schools’ operating costs. Of the remaining amount, 90 percent would be allocated automatically, and 10 percent by performance goals. Performance metrics may include student retention, graduation rates, and job placement records. The committee has an official mandate to redesign the funding formula by the end of 2013, but the proposal unveiled this week is only one option under consideration. More here…

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