It’s obvious: Higher education has become a political issue. In Tuesday’s election, Steve Beshear beat out his opponent, the incumbent governor Ernie Fletcher, for the governorship of Kentucky. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Beshear had campaigned heavily to make college within reach of more Kentuckians.
Kentucky’s approach to higher education during the past decade has already “largely been seen as a success: Undergraduate enrollment is at an all-time high, and the number of degrees and certificates awarded by public colleges in the state has risen by 70 percent.”
Maybe Missouri can learn something from the way Kentucky is doing things. And it’s working on doing just that.
The Higher Education Funding Formula Task Force, created in April by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, is studying the funding policies of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee in an effort to make improvements to Missouri’s higher education system.
“We’re not ashamed to steal ideas, but ultimately we’ve got to come up with something that works for Missouri,” said Paul Wagner, deputy commissioner with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and task force chair.