JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri legislators proposed a funding formula for higher education that would require ten percent of state appropriations to public higher education be based on performance.
The committee released a chart indicating that funding for the new formula would require more than $380 million in additional state appropriations for higher education.
The Joint Committee on Education met Monday and outlined the proposed allocation formula. The Senate Education Committee Chairman -- Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg -- said that the committee hopes to have a final report done by Feb. 15.
Last year , the legislature voted to develop a formula for distributing state funds among the state's public colleges, universities and junior colleges.
The funding formula would affect ten percent of state appropriations for education, a percentage that would be based on institutions' overall performances. These performances would be judged by the schools' improvements in instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services and institutional support. The remaining 90 percent of state funding for education would continue to be based on past funding models.
"I believe our higher education in Missouri has evolved. We have 13 institutions, 13 unique institutions in our state of Missouri. And our funding doesn't reward performance. It's historical funding," said Chairman Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg.
Missouri is one of several states looking to switch to performance-based funding, and the funding model has already been implemented in at least 12 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
"The basic intent of the formula is to distribute tax dollars fairly so that the tax dollars do the most they can to educate Missouri citizens. That's the key," Vice Chairman Rep. Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe said.
The committee designed benchmarks that would allow schools to focus on retention and completion rates rather than just enrollment rates. This approach would maximize the effectiveness of tax dollars.
Using the proposed formula, the committee estimated that the state would need to appropriate approximately $388 million in additional funding to higher education. The souce of that funding is unclear. The task of the committee was not to decide where that funding would come from, but to come up with a formula, Pearce said.
The joint committee's figures showing major shifts in how the proposed new funds would be allocated among the various institutions under the proposed forumla. Despite the variance, there will not be "winners and losers," Lair said.
"Basically we took five states that have an average income that are above us, five states that have an average income below us, and created a table under which the amount of money it takes for them to help pay for a child's education will be right in the middle of those," said Lair.
The amount of funding is likely to change as the committee and other legislators work towards a long-term formula, Pearce said. The percentages will also change as universities improve or decline based on the benchmarks.
"In the past it hasn't been that way. In the past they all got an increase or they all got a decrease, regardless of how you were doing, and that's no way to fund it."
By tying appropriations to performance, the committee aims to hold Missouri's educational institutions accountable, Pearce said.
Following Monday's hearing there will be a period in which the public and other legislators can comment on the proposed formula. The formula would be put into effect by the 2015 fiscal year.