Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

March 18 , 2005

Bill to alter method of higher education funding introduced in House

The bill sets an important goal of returning higher education to the funding levels it received in Fiscal Year 2002, which was the high water mark for the University of Missouri and other public schools. At that point, the bill will establish a new funding mechanism that is based not on institution requests but on "per student" funding with differentiated levels established for undergraduate, graduate and professional courses. Institutions would be required to develop performance measures that would be tied to increased funds in the future.

The bill also suggests revising the financial aid structure to three basic programs – one modeled after the A+ program for the first two years of school at any institution, one modeled after the need-based Gallagher program for the third and fourth years of education at any institution, and one based on the Bright Flight scholarship that would serve as the merit-based model for the state.

The legislation also creates a committee to work out the details of the bill and work with the higher education community to implement the changes.

Bearden, who has been discussing ideas in the legislation for several weeks, patterned much of the framework after funding mechanisms in the state of Colorado and also has taken inspiration from the book Going Broke By Degree: Why College Costs Too Much by Richard Vedder. Bearden said he looks forward to discussion with the higher education community in the weeks ahead.

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