After releasing a revised funding model for higher education Feb. 4, the Missouri Joint Committee on Higher Education is planning to release a final report Feb.15 for Missouri legislature to consider a formula for higher education funding beginning fiscal year 2015.
The initial model was revised based on feedback submitted to the Committee by Missouri higher education institutes and other educational organizations.
Released with the revised model is a simulation of how colleges would be funded under the proposal. Higher education in Missouri is about $388 million under the funding target, according to the simulation. Truman State is about $1.8 million under the funding target.
“Whatever the result of this, it is going to have a significant impact on the future of [Truman],” University President Troy Paino said. “At this stage in the game, we don’t know what is going to come by way of legislation as it relates to this financial model.”
Stacey Preis, Joint Committee Executive Director, said one way the revised model differs from the initial formula is that how much money a school should receive from the state is based on the school’s classification instead of a flat rate for all schools. For example, all four year master’s level universities, such as Truman, would receive funds from the state to cover 40.69 percent of calculated operating costs, and four year bachelor’s level universities would receive funds to cover 38.92 percent of calculated operating costs.
Preis said another change is course credits are given more weight. The result of this is more funding for instruction, which is one of six cost components in the formula, Preis said.
The revised model factors the number of low income students enrolled at a school. This is because one of the state’s goals is to increase the number of Missouri citizens with postsecondary degrees, Preis said.
Paino said he considers the revisions to be improvements. He said the improvements likely are a result of comments submitted by Truman and other colleges after the initial plan was released.
From Feb. 4 to Feb. 11, the Committee accepted comments about the revised plan before it was finalized.
Once the final report is submitted to the legislature Feb. 15, Preis said it will likely be presented to Missouri legislatures and go through the legislative process possibly to become law.
“All 13 higher education schools are all concerned how it’s going to fall out,” Rep. Nate Walker, R-3, said. “Hopefully everybody will be able to win in the deal. I’m working to make sure Truman doesn’t get hurt in the process.”