Valdosta Daily Times

December 14, 2012

Georgia college funding will be tied to graduation


Associated Press

ATLANTA — Georgia’s public colleges and universities will have to earn the money they get from taxpayers by helping more students get a degree.

The change is part of a new funding formula approved Wednesday by a commission appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal.

The new formula links the state funding colleges receive to their improving student success and the number of degrees or certificates awarded, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (http://bit.ly/VBeroW ).

The plan, which won’t go into effect for a couple of years, represents a drastic shift from the current system that focuses on enrollment and how many credits students take, with little attention paid to whether they ever graduate.

Deal and others have said that Georgia’s state’s economic future depends on colleges producing a more skilled workforce to attract and keep employers. Deal said the new formula is a key step toward achieving that goal.

“This actually is probably one of the most important final pieces in the puzzle,” Deal told the commission.

The governor has asked all schools in the university and technical college systems to develop detailed plans on how they will help more students earn a degree.

The governor will officially receive a report on the new formula before the end of the year. The change does not require approval from the Georgia Legislature.