November 18, 2018

Higher education funding up for Senate debate

By Olivia Heibeck

An article on the Missouri Times website said Senate Bill 437, which concerns funding for higher education, has become a top focus.

The Senate is preparing to bring it up for debate as early as Tuesday.

The article stated that much of the higher education funding decisions were based off of general percentage increases and decreases, which many thought to be unfair because the vast differences between the institutions.  Some of the concern stemmed from funding being based on enrollment.  Smaller universities were unhappy with the previous formula.

Sen. David Pearce (R-Mo.) said performance funding for higher education is tough.

“For the most part, universities and their presidents just look at their own institutions. So you have to ask how you practice statewide policy that’s fair to all and really puts in some expectations and standards. It’s not easy, but we have to be fair to everybody. We’re trying to say that as a state, there are certain things we like, and that we have expectations we want (universities) to excel in, and (they) will get rewarded for that,” Pearce said.

Pearce is the sponsor of the bill and chair of the Joint Committee. He said working on the bill has been a long process but he is proud of the progress they have made.

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