Higher ed advocacy groups Education Reform Now and Partners for College Affordability & Public Trust recently released a joint report about how a new funding model for Virginia’s public institutions could help incentivize educational outcomes that lead to better social mobility.
The policy report, “Fair Funding and the Future of Higher Education in Virginia,” shows misalignment of state funding levels for Virginia’s public higher ed institutions with effectiveness in spurring mobility. One example was how George Mason University ranked second best in the state for success in increasing economic mobility but gets the smallest amount of money per student of any four-year college.
“State investments for our public colleges and universities should promote and incentivize outcomes that are important to Virginians and create better opportunities for all students regardless of background,” said Dr. James Murphy of Education Reform Now and Stacie Gordon of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust. “When you compare funding levels with indicators of economic mobility, it’s clear that the two are grossly misaligned. As state lawmakers invest a record $1 billion in new state funds for Virginia’s public colleges and universities, it’s more important than ever to get the funding formula right. By addressing this issue, Virginia can ensure its public institutions are once again an engine for social mobility and economic growth.”