Public colleges that meet certain performance measures would receive more state funding under a bill approved by a House committee Wednesday. The legislation would funnel more state money to schools with higher graduation rates and programs focused on the state's workforce needs.
Senate Bill 117, co-sponsored by Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, and state Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, would create a 20-member task force that would decide on a funding mechanism for public universities based on school performance.
However, "performance" would not be solely based on graduation and retention rates. It would also be based on the college's focus on majors that align with Louisiana's workforce needs.
Colleges that take steps to increase the "potential earning power" of graduates would also get more state funding. These would include higher funding for colleges with more "STEM" (science, technology, engineering, and math) majors available to students.
Although the Board of Regents would have final say over whether to implement the funding formula, a representative from the LSU system said the bill could raise constitutional questions.