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Testimony to the Senate Committee on Higher Education- Funding Models


This committee’s charge on funding for general academic teaching institutions is an important one. Once minimum operational obligations have been met with respect to government funding of education, there is a strong argument in favor of all additional funding being tied directly to student competency and performance. The second part of the charge, to recommend “whether a new funding model would produce greater efficiencies and student performance,” is only answerable once it is clear what a student-focused competency or performance-based model looks like. As this testimony will explain, the performance-based metrics used for funding at two-year institutions of higher education achieve little in the way of driving better performance from students. One need only look at those metrics to understand that merely enrolling students will drive performance-based funding from the state. The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) has published research on this point and would caution the Committee to avoid adopting a similar version of a performance-based funding system at general academic institutions. Any performance-based system should offer true rewards for performance, but there should also be a true risk to institutions that they will receive fewer financial resources should they not perform.

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