Funding higher education based on goals takes a step forward - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Funding higher education based on goals takes a step forward

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The idea of tying funds to educational outcomes is often brought up then swept under the rug by teachers' organizations and the politicians who fear them. However, the proposal took a big step forward Tuesday during an interim committee meeting of the West Virginia Legislature.

Lawmakers approved a motion to move forward in their November interim committee meetings with potential policy that would tie funding for higher education to its outcomes.

The framework has been developing since May, and the Legislature has heard monthly updates and tweaked the process.

Patrick Crane, director of policy and strategic initiatives for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, addressed the members.

Lawmakers looked at the latest rough draft of the policy Tuesday. Jimmy Clark, a senior strategist with HCM Strategists, which worked on the report, said the parties have met with institutional leaders and assured lawmakers that more conversations would take place to continue polishing the proposal.

Crane said the focus has been on transparency, and he explained some of the points values assigned in his funding model.

Topics such as degree completion, on-time degree completion, non-traditional students and students focused in the STEM fields all are in the grid.

Lawmakers had several questions about developmental work at both four-year institutions and the state's community and technical colleges, taking issue with four-year schools butting in on the CTC's niche of developmental work but still providing extra help for students who need it at those institutions.

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