Council on Postsecondary Education
HIGHER EDUCATION FINANCE EXPERT KICKS OFF BUDGET POLICY DISCUSSIONS
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- The Budget and Finance Policy Group of the Council on Postsecondary Education kicked off a series of discussions yesterday that will lead to new budget policies for financing Kentucky’s system of postsecondary education. Legislative leaders, the state budget director, institutional presidents and other state policy makers participated in the meeting.
Dennis P. Jones, president of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and a widely recognized expert in state and institutional higher education financing, presented a national perspective and numerous state trends for developing effective higher education finance policy.
Council President Tom Layzell said, “The development of a new budget policy will be extremely important for the system of postsecondary education to accelerate its pace in meeting Kentucky’s policy goals.”
According to Jones, Kentucky’s new finance policies should ensure adequate revenue to build and maintain postsecondary capacity while reinforcing achievement of the state’s public policy goals. New finance policies also must be fair and transparent and ensure the postsecondary system is affordable to both students and the state’s taxpayers.
Jones emphasized the need to develop funding policies that will encourage institutional performance and provide incentives for an efficient use of public resources.
Sen. Charlie Borders, chair of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, and Rep. Harry Moberly, Jr., chair of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee, renewed their call for greater accountability and performance in the budget policy to achieve the goals of the 1997 Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act.
“We have to have accountability. That’s the thing we’ve been preaching,” said Borders.
Moberly called upon the Council to ensure that institutions follow public policy as defined by state lawmakers and that they produce results.
“I am encouraged that our colleges and universities are making progress with the strong leadership of the current presidents, but we need to ensure that the institutions’ results are aligned with state policy goals,” Moberly said.
Budget policy discussions will continue over the next few months. The policies will be developed by the summer in order to be in place for the state’s upcoming 2008-10 biennial budget cycle.
Kentucky’s postsecondary and adult education system is improving the economic vitality of the Commonwealth and the lives of Kentuckians. By raising educational attainment to the national average by 2020, Kentucky will attract higher wage and knowledge-based business and industry and the overall quality of life for Kentuckians will improve with higher incomes and levels of employment, better health, less obesity, more volunteerism, and lower crime and public assistance rates.