Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last week announced the formation of a commission to study funding for higher education.
The commission will serve in an advisory capacity to examine how the funding formulas for Georgia’s University System and Technical College System should be changed to improve higher education outcomes in the state.
“The work of this commission will help us ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used to boost our No. 1 tool for economic development: a talented, highly educated workforce,” Deal said. “We have assembled a strong group representing every region in the state to do this work, and I look forward to receiving its recommendations.”
Georgia spends 11% of its budget and two-thirds of the state’s lottery funds on higher education.
The commission’s recommendations will focus on how to foster college completion through performance funding and other mechanisms.
“The current funding formula is based on student enrollment but not student completion,” Deal said. “It rewards institutions for increasing the number of students but does not consider whether or not institutions are successful in educating those students. I want to incentivize college completion.”
The commission may also review existing components of the higher education funding formulas, which were originally developed in 1982. Recommendations will be presented to the governor by Dec. 1, 2012.
By 2018, more than 60% of job openings in Georgia will require some form of postsecondary education, according to state officials.
Currently, less than a quarter of full-time students at two-year colleges graduate. Only 44% of students at public four-year colleges graduate.
Deal appointed 17 representatives of higher education facilities, six state legislators, two business community representatives, and the director of the governor’s office of planning and budget to the commission.