Higher education funding plan in Arkansas moves forward
Oct. 18, 2017
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A powerful legislative committee will soon consider new policies that track the improvement of Arkansas' universities and public colleges.
The policies lay out metrics that will score the state's public universities and community colleges to determine how much funding they should receive and whether the schools are improving.
The amended policies received initial approval Tuesday from a subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council, the Legislature's main governing body when lawmakers aren't in session. The full council will consider the policies on Friday.
The new policies form part of a 2017 law that has changed the way Arkansas funds higher education institutions, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. Under the law, funding is based on students' progress through certificate or degree programs and their completion of those programs.
Previously, funding was largely based on an institution's enrollment.
The Department of Higher Education is also planning to add a post-completion success metric. The agency is working with the Arkansas Research Center and the state Department of Workforce Services to compile data on employment placement, graduate school acceptances and wages, according to the department's director, according to Higher Education Department Director Maria Markham.
The change came amid the state's high education master plan, which set goals of increasing the percentage of local residents with certificates and higher degrees by 2025.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com