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State Divvies up Performance Money for Colleges

July 21, 2018 - 6:00am

Florida’s 28 state colleges will receive $60 million in performance funding during the academic year that started this month.

The Florida College System announced this week that $30 million in state performance funding will be distributed to 23 schools, with five schools not qualifying for the state money. All 28 schools will receive their shares of $30 million in “institutional” performance funding.

The total performance funding this year is the same as state colleges received in 2017-2018. Each year, the Legislature approves a set amount of state performance funding for the system. In addition to the state funds, colleges match the state money with institutional funds that are part of their recurring budgets.

An annual evaluation showed systemwide improvement in four of the five performance measurements, which include graduation rates, retention rates, job placement and starting salaries for graduates.

A key measure is the graduation, or “completion,” rate for students. For students seeking two-year associate degrees, the colleges are measured against a three-year completion rate and a four-year rate.

The three-year rate increased from 53.5 percent to 55 percent, while the four-year rate increased to over 63 percent, up from 62.7 percent, according to the new evaluation.

The systemwide retention rate, which is based on students who complete a year and then return in the fall, rose from 63.5 percent to 65.33 percent.

Starting salaries for college graduates, which is based on regional economic data, averaged nearly 111 percent of the local entry wages, up from 108.9 percent. The rate of students who moved to jobs or continued their educations remained at about 95 percent.

Valencia College will receive the largest amount of performance funding in 2018-2019 with $7.56 million, which includes $5.4 million in state money.

Other schools in the top, or “gold,” performance category are Chipola College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida and South Florida State College.

Five schools will not receive any state performance funding. The impact may be greatest for Miami Dade College, which is the largest school in the system and received $4.4 million in state performance funding last year.

A key measure that slipped for Miami Dade was the four-year completion rate, which fell from 58 percent to 55.3 percent in the new evaluation.

Other schools not receiving any state performance funding this year are Florida Keys Community College, Gulf Coast State College, Hillsborough Community College and Pensacola State College.

Three schools that didn’t receive state performance funding last year improved enough to receive state money this year, including Northwest Florida State College and Pasco-Hernando State College.

Polk State College, which was in danger of losing all of its performance funding in 2016-2017, has been on a steady improvement climb, reaching the second tier, or “silver,” level this year.

The school improved its student retention rate from 57.5 percent in the fall of 2014 to 62 percent in the new evaluation. The improved performance will result in an additional $764,000 in state funding this year.

Here is the performance funding breakdown for all 28 colleges in 2018-2019, showing total funding (with state funding in the parentheses):

--- Eastern Florida State College: $2.2 million ($1.1 million)

--- Broward College: $4.45 million ($2.2 million)

--- College of Central Florida: $1.1 million ($536,000)

--- Chipola College $984,000 ($704,000)

--- Daytona State College: $2.48 million ($1.24 million)

--- Florida SouthWestern State College: $1.56 million ($780,000)

--- Florida State College at Jacksonville: $3.8 million ($1.9 million)

--- Florida Keys Community College: $179,000

--- Gulf Coast State College: $554,000

--- Hillsborough Community College: $1.7 million

--- Indian River State College: $2.5 million ($1.26 million)

--- Florida Gateway College: $673,000 ($336,000)

--- Lake Sumter State College: $719,000 ($359,000)

--- State College of Florida, Manatee?Sarasota: $1.26 million ($628,000)

--- Miami Dade College: $4.34 million

--- North Florida Community College: $394,000 ($197,000)

--- Northwest Florida State College: $956,000 ($478,000)

--- Palm Beach State College: $3.1 million ($1.53 million)

--- Pasco?Hernando State College: $1.6 million ($799,000)

--- Pensacola State College: $904,000

--- Polk State College: $1.53 million ($764,000)

--- St. Johns River State College: $990,000 ($495,000)

--- St. Petersburg College: $3.5 million: ($1.76 million)

--- Santa Fe College: $3.98 million: ($2.85 million)

--- Seminole State College of Florida: $3.99 million ($2.86 million)

--- South Florida State College: $1.4 million ($1 million)

--- Tallahassee Community College: $1.6 million ($805,000)

--- Valencia College: $7.56 million ($5.4 million)


I'm sick of my money subsidizing "fat lumps of running blubber" on college football fields !

This funding appears to be for State Colleges, schools that were formerly known as community colleges. I don't think any of these schools even have a football team.

Why are so many taxpayer dollars going to Universities, when we are already funding them through students? The Universities should not be subsidized but should work to improve the product to win more students. Make the Market fund the good schools only, and let the bad ones die. Funding Universities is a disincentive to improve and rewards mediocrity.

These are not universities. These are state colleges. Formerly known as community colleges. They need the funding to survive and offer a college education at an affordable price to people in local communities.

You would think someone claiming to be the "Republican Conscience" would know that, wouldn't you? Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

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