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Mo. Lawmakers Considering Performance-Based Funding For Universities, Community Colleges

(St. Louis Public Radio)

A group of Missouri lawmakers is considering an overhaul of how the state’s colleges and universities are funded each year.

A first draft of recommendations was released today, and it includes basing 10 percent of an institution’s state funding on performance standards such as graduation rates for seniors and retention rates for freshmen and sophomores.  State Senator David Pearce(R, Warrensburg) chairs the Joint House-Senate Committee on Education.

“Quite honestly, we’ve just kind of limped along year after year after year when it comes to funding with no thought whatsoever for performance," Pearce said.  "So what this is is a way to institute some performance, some standards of what we want to evaluate our colleges for.”

Pearce says the report is still very much a work in progress.

“The 10 percent on the funding, is that excessive?  Is it not enough?  Is it exactly where we want to have it," Pearce said to fellow committee members before adjournment.  "Things like public service and student services that are very, very important parts of an individual institution – what kind of weight should that have when it comes to a funding formula?”

Public comments on the recommendations are being accepted through the end of the year, but Pearce says they could likely be revised once the legislative session begins next year.  Links to the committee's report can be found here.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter: @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.