Regents want proposed funding model talks delayed

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 19, 2014 at 3:31 p.m.



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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents said it won't recommend a proposed funding mechanism that would tie university budgets next year to specific performance-based benchmarks.

Instead, the board said it would recommend that the Legislature delay considering any such budgeting model until the state's financial condition improves. It wants the model to be used as an incentive to qualify for additional funding, above what schools receive in their base budgets, the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/1wTzDfd ) reported Thursday.

"I have become convinced ... that some new funding as an incentive is a critical component of doing this," Regent Fred Logan said. "And so I would like a statement in there that if there is not going to be any new funding that the study of the proposal be deferred for a year."

State lawmakers had urged the board in August to develop a metrics model that the Legislature could consider in its next session.

A task force appointed to create a proposal offered its plan to the regents Thursday. It called for setting goals for each university and offering payments based on targets like the number of awarded degrees and certificates.

State Sen. Tom Arpke, R-Salina, said after the regents' meeting that legislators are likely to discuss the idea in January anyway.

"I'm certainly willing to look at anything they've got to offer that would help us incent universities to up their four-year graduation rate," Arpke said. "If we can get up into the 50-60 percent range graduating in four years instead of six years, that helps with the cost of student loans. We should be there already. It's something we've let slip over the years."

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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