Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Change In Higher Education Funding

Feb 6, 2017

File photo of Rep. Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) and Arkansas Department of Higher Education Director Maria Markham speaking about the bill at a meeting of the House Education Committee on January 24.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas lawmakers have given their final approval and sent to the governor to a plan to link college and university funding to factors such as the number of students who complete their degrees.

The Senate on Monday voted 32-1 for a bill requiring the state to adopt a "performance-based" model for funding higher education rather than basing the money on enrollment. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he'd call for increasing higher education funding $10 million in 2018 if lawmakers approve the plan.

The state's colleges and universities received about $733 million in the state's current $5.3 billion budget, and that funding would not change in the fiscal year that begins July 1 under the governor's proposed budget.

The bill now heads to Hutchinson's desk.