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April 26, 2013
Budget & Finance
CA: Governor's higher ed plan includes tuition freeze, new funding tied to policy goals
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) released an agenda for the state's public universities this week that will link a portion of state funding to a series of new requirements, including boosting the number of transfer students from community colleges and increasing the percentage of freshman graduating within four years. Brown's plan would freeze tuition and fees for four years and boost state higher education funding by 5 percent in its first two years and 4 percent for the following two years. If institutions choose to increase tuition, they would forfeit new funding. The plan will be submitted to state lawmakers next month. 

Los Angeles Times (Date posted: April 22, 2013)
FL: Gov. Scott signs sweeping education bill with higher ed reforms
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a bill Monday that included a package of reforms for state K-12 and higher education. The measure allows state universities to qualify as “preeminent research universities” and be awarded additional funding for online initiatives and high-tech degree programs, including allowing the University of Florida to offer bachelor’s degrees completely online. The new law also allows for performance-based funding and creation of $10,000 college degrees. The reforms received bipartisan support, as well as praise from the state education community.  
The Miami Herald (Date posted: April 22, 2013)
LA: Senate takes first steps toward performance-based higher education funding
The Louisiana Senate passed legislation Monday that would create a task force to make recommendations on incorporating performance indicators in the state’s higher education funding formula. The task force would develop performance metrics for five areas, including student retention rates; timely progression toward degree completion; certificate and degree production; alignment with projected workforce needs; and potential earning power of graduates. The bill will now proceed to the Louisiana House Education Committee.
The Times-Picayune (Date posted: April 22, 2013)
MN: House approves higher education budget, tuition freeze
The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a two-year, $2.7 billion higher education budget Thursday that includes $150 million in new funding. According to the bill's sponsor, 80 percent of the new funding will go directly to students through grants or tuition freezes. The Minnesota Senate has already passed a $2.8 billion higher education budget with $263 million in new funding, but the Senate bill did not freeze tuition at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU). The bills will soon go to conference committee.
The Star-Tribune (Date posted: April 25, 2013)
MO: Senate gives initial approval to performance-based funding
The Missouri Senate gave first-round approval Wednesday to a new higher education state funding formula that would link state funding for public colleges and universities to performance outcomes and career placement. The legislation calls for 10 percent performance-based funding on five performance targets, with another 10 percent based on career placement. 
The Associated Press (Date posted: April 24, 2013)
Student Aid, Access & Affordability
GA: HOPE bill becomes law
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill Wednesday that would change the grade-point-average (GPA) requirement for eligibility in the state’s HOPE Grant program for students attending the state’s technical colleges. The legislation would return the GPA eligibility threshold to 2.0, down from a 3.0. 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Date posted: April 24, 2013)
KY: Council caps tuition increases at 3 percent
Last week the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education approved a 3 percent tuition cap for the upcoming academic year, the smallest such increase in 15 years. The tuition increases will boost revenue by $31.5 million, far short of the $61.4 million expected increase in fixed costs, such as utilities and retirement contributions. State funding is not expected to increase. The cap was praised by Gov. Steve Beshear (D). 
Lexington Herald-Leader (Date posted: April 18, 2013)
WI: Governor to revise UW System funding plan, calls for tuition freeze
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) stated this week that he will soon change his plan to boost funding for the University of Wisconsin (UW) System after a state audit revealed that the university system had nearly $650 million in reserve funds. Walker has also joined legislative leaders in calling for a two-year tuition freeze at UW System institutions. State lawmakers have also called for an expanded audit of the UW System.  
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Date posted: April 25, 2013)
National Report
State U Online (Webpage) (Report)
New America Foundation and Education Sector
This report outlines the history of distance education programs, along with common challenges to building effective programs. The report also includes a number of "steps" of integrating distance education and policy recommendations for creating successful distance education programs.   


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