High Marks for Higher Ed Reforms

Sen. Piccola’s proposal would increase college affordability, accountability
HARRISBURG, PA — The Commonwealth Foundation today praised the proposal to reform higher education funding introduced by Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey E. Piccola (R-Dauphin).
“Sen. Piccola’s proposal contains many of the critical reforms that were missing from Gov. Rendell’s higher education plans,” said Matthew J. Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation.  “Instead of expanding gambling to further subsidize the current system, these proposals begin to address the cost drivers in higher education.”
Piccola’s measure includes many of the recommendations suggested by the Commonwealth Foundation in a recent policy brief, such as:
1. Redirecting state subsidies to students rather than institutions, giving students more choices and schools more competition.
2. Withholding state subsidies if schools fail to restrain tuition increases to inflation.
3. Increasing accountability of students receiving taxpayer aid by requiring them to maintain a “C” average and graduate in four years.
The Commonwealth Foundation’s five specific recommendations for reforming higher education funding are detailed in a December 2008 policy brief, High Costs of Higher Education: Reforming how Pennsylvania taxpayers finance colleges and universities.

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The Commonwealth Foundation (www.CommonwealthFoundation.org) is an independent, non-profit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg, PA.