FY2012 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
Issues in Brief
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor
The Commonwealth’s higher education system serves approximately 260,000 students, and is comprised of 29 campuses divided into three segments: fifteen community colleges, nine state colleges/universities, and five University of Massachusetts campuses. The public higher education system is governed by the Department of Higher Education and its Board, and is committed to ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to benefit from a post-secondary education that enriches their lives and advances their contributions to civic life, economic development and social progress in the Commonwealth.
The Governor’s H.1 budget recommendation preserves state support for the Massachusetts public higher education system at levels equal to fiscal year 2011 support. In fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2011, Massachusetts public colleges and universities received funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA), State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) to preserve budgets at the campuses. This federal legislation allowed states to use their allocations from this fund to help restore reductions to state support for campuses, for fiscal years 2009, 2010, and 2011 but are no longer available for fiscal year 2012.
In addition, the commitment of the Patrick-Murray administration to keeping the costs of higher education affordable is demonstrated through $88 million in funding for scholarships for Massachusetts residents. The House 1 budget recommendation also proposes $750,000 in funding for the dual enrollment program, which allows qualified high school students to take college courses.
In addition to level funding each campus to fiscal year 2011 state funded appropriations, an incentive fund titled the Performance Management Set Aside is established. In fiscal year 2012, this fund will allocate $7.5 million to the campuses. All campuses will be eligible to compete for these funds through a competitive grant process based on priorities determined by the board of higher education in pursuit of operational efficiency and goals articulated in the commonwealth’s Vision Project. The Department of Higher Education has established the Vision Project with the goal of attaining national leadership in five key areas of achievement in public higher education, including college-going rates of high school graduates, college graduation and student success rates, ability to meet workforce needs, assessments of student learning and progress in closing achievement gaps among certain minority and socio-economic groups.
Historically, each campus maintains full operational independence, including procurement, curriculum development, and implementation. This fund will provide incentives to campuses to encourage these independent agencies to advance the Administration’s policy objectives while also providing incentives for adopting fiscal improvement and accountability measures that will lower costs and increase efficiency.
All public colleges and universities will begin to retain out-of-state tuition effective July 1, 2011, as the adoption of Chapter 131 of the Acts of 2010 allows for campuses to retain all revenue paid in tuition and fees from out- of-state students. Prior to this legislation, campuses remitted all out-of-state tuition to the general fund (approximately $20 million in 2010) and retained all fees at the campus level. This transition will require a slight reduction in appropriation, but the retention of out-of-state tuition at the campus level will have a neutral effect on total state funding to the campus, and will provide the campuses added flexibility to manage their resources.
The STEM Pipeline Fund was established in 2003 through Economic Stimulus Trust Fund legislation and is administered through the Department of Higher Education. The goal of the STEM pipeline fund is to increase the number of Massachusetts students who participate in programs that support careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), increase the number of qualified STEM teachers, and improve the STEM educational offerings available in public and private schools. In September 2010, Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray released the state’s first-ever long-term STEM plan titled, “A Foundation for the Future: Massachusetts’ Plan for Excellence in STEM Education–Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”
The Department of Higher Education has supported Regional PreK-16 Networks since the inception of the STEM Pipeline Fund. These Networks bring together key stakeholders—K-12, higher education, businesses and community organizations—to collaboratively address regional education and workforce needs. In fiscal year 2012, the Administration has shown additional support for these initiatives by proposing new funding of $500,000 to support STEM education and the STEM pipeline fund.
Prepared by Molly Bench, Executive Office for Administration and Finance ·
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