Legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. to create criteria to determine how state tax dollars are allotted to colleges and universities throughout New Jersey was advanced today by the Higher Education Committee.
“State aid was once provided to colleges and universities in New Jersey based on enrollment, but in late 2010 the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education reported that there has been a lack of rationale to determine state aid allotments to colleges throughout the past few decades,” said Kean (R-Union). “A Commission has long been needed to study and determine an accountable, consistent and equitable measure for how state funding is annually provided to colleges and universities.”
Senator Kean introduced his now bipartisan sponsored S2695 in April to establish a New Jersey Higher Education Funding Formula Commission to examine higher education funding formulas in other states, including a thorough review of performance-based funding formulas, and identify best practices; solicit and review detailed information from all of the State’s institutions of higher education on their funding needs, programs and operations, and outputs; and develop a report that includes a higher education funding formula for the State support of institutions of higher education. Last year, colleges and universities around New Jersey were provided with a total of $1.65 billion in state tax dollars.
“New Jersey’s overtaxed residents should not be on the hook for any arbitrary state spending,” Kean concluded. “We need to continuously examine every dollar spent to ensure that taxpayers are getting the most for their money. This includes how we fund our colleges to ensure that the billions of dollars in public aid they receive each year are actually what they need to serve New Jersey students and families.”