Gov. Hutchinson to sign higher education funding formula bill Wednesday

Gov. Hutchinson to sign higher education funding formula bill Wednesday

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - A bill that will tie student progress among the state's college students to higher education funding is set to be signed into law Wednesday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he will sign HB1209 into law during an 11:15 a.m. press conference at the state Capitol. The bill will base the state's higher education formula to student progress instead of the current formula, which is based on student enrollment.

According to the bill, the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board will create policies for the state's two and four-year colleges and universities. Funding will be based on the completion of student educational goals, progression toward students' completion of programs of study and the differences in missions for colleges and universities.

However, the new funding formula will not determine the funding for medical schools, divisions of agriculture or system offices.

The bill will also work on helping students transfer from two to four-year colleges, plus push for more students graduating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields as well as high demand fields, supporters have said.

The bill was approved by an 80-10 margin in the House on Jan. 30 and a 32-1 vote in the Senate on Feb. 6. Also, the bill had at least a dozen sponsors including area Reps. Michelle Gray, R-Melbourne, Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, Johnny Rye, R-Trumann, James Sturch, R-Batesville and Dan Sullivan, R-Jonesboro.

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