Governor Nikki Haley said she and the leaders of South Carolina’s public colleges have agreed on a new formula that would better fund the institutions.
In a press conference Wednesday, Haley said the five-part formula would provide a sorely-needed upgrade in how the state calculates higher education payments.
I wanted to go to a strong higher-ed funding formula, so that we were no longer funding higher ed based on football tickets and alumni in the General Assembly, but we were actually looking at measurables that South Carolinians could be proud of.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said a new formula was badly needed.
There was a formula invoked… in the late 1990s. But once the state hit its economic hard times, it basically went into a ditch and universities didn’t get a penny more or a penny less. It completely depended upon what you had gotten in that time and what the state budget was.
Haley said the formula will emphasize five targets: graduation rates, the number of in-state students, job placement for graduates, support for economic development, and how much colleges assist under-represented students.
Haley said it gives colleges a chance to control how much they receive.
Now we’re going to see an accountability-based funding, to where we have five measurables and (colleges) are now funded based on those measurables.
The formula would not come into effect for this year’s budget. Any such plan would require legislative support and Pastides said some details still need to be worked out among the school presidents, including how transfer students are factored in.
Pastides said the new formula would provide certainty for colleges, which often complain they have received inconsistent help in the past decade.
We look forward to the day when South Carolina will be known as the “Higher Education State.” Not known for problems in education, but known for partnering with the business community (and) working more efficiently and effectively within the higher education sector.
Haley will meet with school leaders again on April 7.