Education

Massachusetts Ties Community Colleges' Funding to Their Performance

Massachusetts has launched a new way of funding community colleges, for the first time tying a large portion of each college’s budget to its ability to improve graduation rates, meet the state’s workforce needs, and help more minority students thrive.
August 12, 2013
 

Massachusetts has launched a new way of funding community colleges, for the first time tying a large portion of each college’s budget to its ability to improve graduation rates, meet the state’s workforce needs, and help more minority students thrive.

 
The state’s move to so-called performance funding is one of the most ambitious in the nation; about half of each school’s allocation will hinge on such factors when it is fully phased in within a couple years.
 
Every community college president endorsed the plan, a turnaround from less than two years ago when reform proposals from Governor Deval Patrick and others met with outrage among community college leaders.
 
A $20 million boost in funding from the Legislature, after years of budget cuts, helped make the idea palatable, and no campus is losing money this year, so they have time to adjust to the new standards.
 
 
The change also redresses huge imbalances that left the best-funded community colleges — topped by the scandal-plagued Roxbury Community College — getting more than double the money per student than the most starved campuses received.

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