Ed Money Watch

A Blog from New America's Federal Education Budget Project

< Back to the Education Policy Program

Friday News Roundup: Week of November 12-16

Published:  November 16, 2012

Board of Minnesota higher ed institutions requests additional funding from state legislators

State university presidents in Indiana request increase after years of flat funding

Idaho teachers will receive bonus pay based on performance

Republicans criticize outgoing North Carolina governor for pre-K expansion

Board of Minnesota higher ed institutions requests additional funding from state legislators
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees this week offered to cap tuition increases at three percent, decrease administrative expenses by $44 million, and increase enrollment in return for an extra $97 million from legislators over the course of two years. The additional money will raise the system’s total budget to $1.2 billion, an 8.9 increase over the last budget, for the state’s 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities. The three-percent tuition cap would limit increases to $145 for a college student and $205 for a university student. In addition to promising tuition caps, the board has also proposed an aggressive matching campaign; for instance, the Board would match $21 million in state funding for “state-of-the art equipment” with donations from the private sector. State College Student Association President Steve Sabin expressed his concern that tuition hikes will be exceed the stated levels if the state does not fully fund the Board’s request. More here…

State university presidents in Indiana request increase after years of flat funding
The presidents of three state universities in Indiana have asked the State Budget Committee to increase funding for higher education in the next budget biennium, which covers fiscal years 2013-2015, following years of spending cuts that helped keep the state’s budget in the black. Higher education funding this year totaled $1.7 billion in Indiana, a four percent decrease from its high of nearly $1.8 billion in fiscal year 2009. The funding problems are especially burdensome for the state universities that focus more on teaching than research because they have fewer opportunities to receive outside funding for research grants. The presidents argue that they have cut costs significantly and kept tuition and fees at manageable levels for the past several years. Now, they contend, the state should increase funding. More here…

Idaho teachers will receive bonus pay based on performance
Idaho teachers can expect the Pay-for-Performance bonuses implemented last year as part of the state’s “Students Come First” laws, despite the fact that those laws were repealed through a referendum in last week’s elections. Seventy-six percent of Idaho’s schools (499 schools) will receive a portion of the $38 million payout. Although voters were originally told that if the laws were struck down on November 6, the teachers would not legally be allowed to receive bonuses, but the Idaho deputy attorney general issued a legal opinion after the election stating there was no legal impediment to issuing the bonuses this year. Even though the laws were struck down, many legislators and government officials seem to suspect that merit pay for teachers, in some form, will eventually become part of the Idaho K-12 education system. More here…

Republicans criticize outgoing North Carolina governor for pre-K expansion
GOP legislators are criticizing outgoing Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue for reallocating $20 million for an expansion of the state’s pre-kindergarten program for low-income children through next summer. Perdue redirected the $20 million from other funding sources, arguing that programs AIDS medicine and foster care services were overfunded. GOP lawmakers expressed concern because in recent years the state has experienced budget shortfalls late in the fiscal year (usually associated with Medicaid). Further complicating the issue, Perdue will not be governor by the time any potential shortfall would occur – Republican Governor-elect Pat McCrory will take office in early 2013. Before the expansion to the program that will add 6,300 slots, the state was spending about $128 million annually to provide pre-K for approximately 25,000 children. Estimates suggest that closer to 67,000 children may be eligible for the program. The expansion is the result of a 20 percent cut to the program by GOP lawmakers, which included requiring parents to incur a co-pay for pre-K services. Both a county judge and the state Court of Appeals struck down those provisions. More here…

Join the Conversation

Please log in below through Disqus, Twitter or Facebook to participate in the conversation. Your email address, which is required for a Disqus account, will not be publicly displayed. If you sign in with Twitter or Facebook, you have the option of publishing your comments in those streams as well.