ERIC Number: EJ732597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Colorado and the Higher Education Voucher Experiment: Finance Revolution or "Hail Mary Pass?"
College and University, v80 n3 p37-38 Win 2005
In May 2004, Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed Senate Bill 189 into law, essentially transforming how public higher education is funded in that state. The measure, the first of its kind in the nation, changes the flow of state appropriations from the traditional enrollment-based black grant to institutions into two more market-based streams: (1) A per-student undergraduate stipend (authorized at $2,400 per year for resident students at public universities and $1,200 per year for resident students at private universities in the state) that "follows" the student for up to 145 credit hours; and (2) A fee-for-service contract between the state and the institution to provide graduate, professional, and developmental education, as well as public service and other mission-related functions. The law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2005, but the debate over its significance--and wisdom--is already well underway. Some advocates see the measure as a new and important mechanism for promoting access and efficiency in public higher education, while more pragmatic proponents couch it as an essential means to loosen the grip of constitutional revenue/spending limits imposed by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Critics contend that the law will do little to expand access, and will instead pave the way toward a system of publicly chartered, privately funded institutions, and may even constitute a death sentence for some. While it is too early to tell which--if either--camp will ultimately be vindicated, pundits and proponents should look critically at the context surrounding the law before pronouncing it "the wave of the future"in higher education finance. This article discusses the three key points that should be considered in thinking about the impact and future of Senate Bill 189:
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado