May 10, 2013
Budget & Finance
KS: Governor concludes statewide tour of public colleges, maintains call for level funding
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) finished a statewide tour of the state's public colleges and universities Tuesday and continued to urge state lawmakers to hold public higher education funding level in the state budget. Brownback has voiced support for keeping the state's sales tax at 6.3 percent in order to protect higher education funding and balance the state budget. Under current state law, the sales tax will be reduced to 5.7 percent on July 1. Kansas House and Senate leaders have called for reducing state budgetary support to public higher education by 4 and 2 percent, respectively.
Lawrence Journal-World (Date posted: May 7, 2013)
WI: Gov. Walker to divert a portion of UW System funding increase to K-12 education, tax cuts
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said this week that he will redirect some of the $181 million funding increase for the University of Wisconsin (UW) System outlined in his original state budget blueprint to K-12 education and income tax relief. The governor, however, has not yet proposed specific funding allocations. The funding change is in response to a controversy over surplus funds in the UW System budget.
WKOW (Date posted: May 6, 2013)
MT: Governor vetoes campus gun bill
This week Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) vetoed legislation that would have allowed individuals to carry guns on college campuses. Bullock said the bill, which was opposed by the Montana University System, defied common sense and threatened the constitutional autonomy of the state's university system. Montana currently allows rifles to be stored in secure campus facilities.
Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Date posted: May 7, 2013)
NC: House passes campus gun measure
The North Carolina House of Representatives approved legislation this week that would allow individuals to bring guns on the state's college campuses on long as the weapon is in a locked compartment. The measure is opposed by state higher education leaders and campus police.
Charlotte Observer (Date posted: May 7, 2013)
TX: House approves campus gun legislation
The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill last week that will allow individuals with concealed weapons permits to carry their weapons on college campuses, including in dorms, classrooms and sporting facilities. Private colleges, however, are allowed to establish their own weapons policies and public campuses may choose to opt-out of the law. Under current law state, weapons are banned on campus but university boards can choose to opt-in to the state's concealed carry law. Texas A&M University has chosen to participate in the state concealed carry law, but most campuses have maintained gun restrictions.
Austin American-Statesman (Date posted: May 5, 2013)
TX: Legislature sends bill to allow guns in locked cars on campus to governor
The Texas House of Representatives approved a measure this week that will allow individuals with concealed weapons permits to keep their guns in locked cars on campus. The legislation, which has already passed the Texas Senate, now awaits approval from Gov. Rick Perry (R).
Houston Chronicle (Date posted: May 8, 2013)
Student Success & Services
CT: House unanimously approves bill to create uniform financial aid form
Last week the Connecticut House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would require the state’s public and private institutions of higher education to provide the same financial aid form to all admitted students. The Connecticut Senate will now consider the legislation.
Connecticut Post (Date posted: May 2, 2013)
VA: Public colleges and universities increase tuition for upcoming academic year
A number of Virginia public colleges and universities have set tuition rates for next fall, with tuition increases ranging from 2.9 to 5 percent. The College of William and Mary will increase tuition 14 percent, but the rate will be locked for the next four years. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) sent a letter to college leaders in April requesting low in-state tuition and fee increases and the state has recently increased higher education funding. However, per-student state appropriations have decreased 23 percent at four-year institutions since 1992.
WTVR (Date posted: May 9, 2013)
Undermining Pell: How Colleges Compete for Wealthy Students and Leave the Low-Income Behind (Summary) (Report)
Stephen Burd, New America Foundation
This report analyzes the "net price"--the amount students are expected to pay after grant aid--of a college education for low-income students at public and private, not-for-profit institutions of higher education. The report concludes that colleges expect low-income students to pay an amount equal to or greater than their family's yearly income, leaving them to take on substantial debt levels. The report also discusses how institutions use resources to compete for wealthier, well-prepared students at the expense of student access.
Access and Success with Less: Improving Productivity in Broad-Access Postsecondary Institutions (Summary) (Report)
David Jenkins and Olga Rodriguez, The Community College Research Center at Columbia University
This report examines research on how broad-access institutions of higher education can increase productivity without forgoing student access or institutional quality. The report discusses the effectiveness of common cost containment strategies, such as more part-time instructors and increasing the student-faculty ratio, as well as more comprehensive efforts, such as reforming student programs and support throughout college. The authors argue against policies that could lower academic standards to cut costs and instead calls for institutions to define learning outcomes and measure student mastery.
California: Working Hard, Left Behind: Education as a Pathway from Poverty to Prosperity for Working Californians (Report) (Related story)
Campaign for College Opportunity
This report examines the relationship between California's working poor population and educational attainment, with a focus on how to educate and train this population to meet state workforce needs. The report outlines six programmatic areas to examine as part of a comprehensive strategy: adult education, community college access, federal programs to low-income populations, financial aid to adult students, student support for college enrollment/orientation and child care. Six policy recommendations are included.
Minnesota: For-Profit Postsecondary Institutions: A Review of Selected Institutions in Minnesota for Undergraduates (Report) (Related story)
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
This report compares Minnesota's for-profit colleges to their national for-profit college peers, while also comparing them to the state's public and private, not-for-profit institutions. The report found the state's for-profit institutions to be in-line with many national for-profit college outcomes. However, the report found substantial differences in some metrics when the for-profit colleges were compared with Minnesota's public and private, not-for-profit institutions of higher education, such as student loan debt after graduation.
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