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March 8, 2021
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HIGHER ED
(2007-04-09)
(wgvu) - A NEW FUNDING PROPOSAL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN HAS OPENED A RIFT BETWEEN THE STATE'S THREE LAND GRANT UNIVERSITIES AND THE OTHER TWELVE UNIVERSITIES. UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM, FUNDING IS DETERMINED USING THE SAME SET OF RULES FOR ALL FIFTEEN SCHOOLS---BUT MICHIGAN, MICHIGAN STATE AND WAYNE STATE ARE PUSHING TO CHANGE THAT.
ACCORDING TO ONE SOURCE, THE BIG THREE WOULD GET 57% OF ALL STATE HIGHER EDUCATION MONEY IN ANY GIVEN YEAR, LEAVING 43% FOR THE REST OF THE SCHOOLS. DR. THOMAS HAAS IS PRESIDENT OF GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY. HE SUGGESTS ALL THE BUZZ OVER WHICH SCHOOL GETS WHAT SHARE OF THE MONEY MISSES THE CRUX OF WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT: MAKING A COLLEGE EDUCATION MORE ACCESSABLE AND MORE AFFORDABLE. THE TWO BILLS (HB4350 AND HB4351) ARE AWAITING HEARINGS AND DISCUSSION IN THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. A DETROIT FREE PRESS POLL SUGGESTS THAT 80% OF STATE RESIDENTS OPPOSE MICHIGAN, U-M AND WAYNE GETTING ANY BIGGER SHARE OF STATE HIGHER ED FUNDING THANTHEY ALREADY RECEIVE. HAAS NOTES THAT THE CHERRY COMMISSION REPORT, RELEASED IN LATE 2004, PROVIDES THE RIGHT FOCUS FOR THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION. AMONG OTHER THINGS, IT RECOMMENDS DOUBLING THE NUMBER OF MICHIGAN RESIDENTS WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE.

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