Illinois’ pathway to higher education performance funding:
- In 2008 Illinois adopted a ten-year blueprint for education policy, the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success which includes four major goals: (1) Increasing educational attainment; (2) Ensuring college affordability; (3) Addressing workforce needs; and (4) Enhancing economic growth; and
- College completion has come to the forefront of a national conversation on workforce development and growing our economy especially in light of the recent surge of educational attainment by other countries and the stagnation of educational attainment level in the United States; and
- Illinois has joined Complete College America’s alliance of 29 states with the objective to significantly increase the number of adults with a college degree or credential of value and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations; and
- In order to meet Illinois’ Complete College Goal of 60 percent of all adults (age 25 to 64) with a college degree or certificate by 2025, Illinois must graduate 4,400 more students each year starting in 2009 (or a total of 600,000 additional graduates in 17 years). Achieving this goal requires an annual increase of 3.2 percent in Illinois completions, compounded annually; and
- The Illinois P-20 Council has directed all Council activities and proposals towards achieving Illinois’ goal of 60 percent of adults with postsecondary credentials by 2025, with the common thread of college and career readiness for all Illinois students from preschool through graduate school; and
- In 2010, as a result of Senate Joint Resolution 88, a distinguished group of legislators, business leaders, and a broad cross-section of education stakeholders formed the Higher Education Finance Study Commission. The group met throughout the late summer and fall of 2010 to hear testimony from national experts and to learn about efforts in other states to more closely align the financing of colleges and universities to student success outcomes for the completion of degrees and credentials needed by the 21st century workforce; and
- The Higher Education Finance Study Commission recommends that the State move forward with the development of a performance funding system to increase the number of college completions. This system should be designed to accommodate the different missions of higher education institutions in Illinois and to involve all sectors in a collaborative discussion on how to establish funding incentives for student success; and
- As an alliance member of Complete College America, Illinois has assembled a team, led by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, that participated in the March 2011 Completion Academy to learn more about statewide strategies to increase completions, including shifting to performance funding of higher education; and
- With the enactment of House Bill 1503, the Board of Higher Education is directed to form a broad-based group of individuals to devise a system for allocating State resources to public institutions of higher education based upon performance in achieving State goals related to student success and certificate and degree completion.
Illinois’ philosophy behind higher education performance funding:
- Through performance funding we will show that each dollar we spend on higher education provides a greater return than if the dollar were spent on one of the numerous other competing worthy causes. We know we must be able to demonstrate that we can deliver a return on investment.
- The dollars the state invests in higher education will:
- Expand access to college for low-income, first-generation, and minority students through affordable postsecondary opportunities;
- Deliver degrees and college credentials that will pay dividends in increased income, more state and local tax revenue, and a variety of societal benefits that range from better health to greater volunteerism, from more involved parents to more engaged citizens; and
- Fuel the resurgence of the Illinois economy by training workers for the modern marketplace and by translating the creativity and innovation of some of the best minds on the planet into new jobs and new companies and even new industries.
- We need to show legislators and the administration that we are not asking for a donation; we're asking for an investment. We need to demonstrate clearly and persuasively that we can provide a return on this investment.