Higher Education Partnership
P.O. Box 761,
MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Stone, Executive Director - Higher Education Partnership
334/220-2161 Fax: 334/832-9995
Montgomery, Alabama- May 6, 2008 –
for an Added $25 Million and Equitable Support
The Higher Education Partnership is
completely supportive of Pre-K through Ph. D. education. From Higher Education
Day until now, the university community has communicated a message calling for
equity. It has consistently been the university position that a decrease of 10
percent or more (as has been proposed) for the universities compared to a 3
percent decrease for K-12 is not equitable. The Partnership has not called for
a reduction in K-12 funding to add dollars to higher ed. Instead, the
Partnership has advocated that there is a need for the universities and their
vitally important services to be funded at an improved level. This continues to
be the advocacy position of the Partnership. The Partnership continues to call
for the Alabama Senate to provide an extra $25 million above the House’s
Universities are constantly attacked
by individuals claiming that they have a high appropriation per student (and/or
per capita). This is not accurate. As the voice of the collective university
community, the Partnership recognizes that faculty, staff and students TOO must tell their story. The university community
must let the legislative leadership know that four-year institutions also have
real needs and serious issues. Therefore, the Partnership is presenting these
key points prepared by Dr. Ira Harvey, education finance consultant.
EDUCATION is underfunded in per student analysis and K-12 scores well!
K-12 Receives significant Capital Outlay Dollars: Higher
Education receives only ETF funding from the state for general operations and
receives funding for capital outlay only through periodic APSCA Bond
issues. K-12, by comparison, annually
receives ETF funding for general operations and, in addition, an annual
appropriation from the Public School Fund (funded by a statewide 3.0 mill ad
valorem tax) dedicated to capital outlay.
In addition, K-12 also participates in the periodic APSCA Bond
issues. Since this program began for
K-12 in FY 1996 through 2008, K-12 has received over $1.2 billion in capital
Higher Education has auxiliary services that the state needs: When
reviewing the budgets for higher education, a first glance may show a higher per
student funding level; but many items should not be counted as per student
items. Hospitals receive ETF funding.
However, they are an auxiliary enterprise. In higher education, the legislature
includes funding for efforts in Research and Public Service. This was obvious when these functions were
accounted for in separate line items.
Many of these functions have statutory authorization. For example, the services provided by
Agricultural Experiment Stations and the Cooperative Extensions Services should
not be included in any calculation of state – ETF – funding per student for
educational operations. In fact,
specialized state funds should be removed for consideration and only funds for
general operations included.
Higher Education is responsible for providing educational services and
operational expenditures to support a campus serving students 24 hours a
universities have residential campuses and have to provide certain services 24
hours a day (examples are security, communications, and utilities). K-12 is required by law only to provide for
instruction for a minimum of six hours per day.
If cost comparisons are to be made, a review of the costs per student at
K-12 residential sites such as the Alabama High School of Math and Science, and
the Alabama High School for the Arts may more truly indicate costs of a
Calculating a Higher Education Expenditure per student must avoid using
funds allocated to non-student activities. Using the LFO
spreadsheet amount for Higher Education is highly misleading because of the
large number of line items not directly related to the number of students
identified. For example, Adult Basic
Education, workforce development, Prison Education, Small Business Networks,
College, and the Alabama Industrial Development and Training
Program do not serve counted college students.
Also, Veterans Education benefits could be considered in this
category. In addition, students in
private higher education are not counted and they are funded both by direct
appropriations and by the Alabama
Commission on Higher Education. The
K-12 share, according to the LFO spreadsheet, generally only attributed direct
line items to K-12 schools and the SDE.
Higher Education is attributed many lines items in the LFO spreadsheet
not directly or indirectly appropriated to college campuses.
5. Without local funding, K-12 scores well in per student funding from
the state. The local governments in many of the K-12 school
systems have a low level of financial support. Given this fact, the cost per
student is heavily weighted toward the state’s contribution.
Alabama’s state contributions per student in
K-12 are higher by percentage than many of the peer states.