This week’s issue will focus on New Jersey Senate Bill S731, which would establish a Higher Education Funding Formula Commission. S731 passed the New Jersey Senate on June 30 of this year and is currently being reviewed by the Assembly Higher Education Committee. If approved by this committee, the bill will go before the New Jersey State Assembly for a vote. This bill will have major implications for New Jersey state colleges and universities. Currently, New Jersey has no funding formula for these institutions. Thus, there is currently no objective method to distribute state funds to institutions of higher education, making it difficult for colleges to budget for future years as state appropriations fluctuate unexpectedly. Specifically, the bill establishes an 11-member Higher Education Funding Formula Commission that will include the Secretary of Higher Education, the executive director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, as well as several representatives from state colleges, state research universities and county colleges. The committee will examine higher education funding formulas in other states and gather information about all of the state’s institutions to develop a higher education funding formula, as well as a report with recommendations for legislative action.
Do you want to voice your opinion during the formation of the higher education funding formula? If so, contact your political representative and make sure to vote in the upcoming elections on November 4. Also, please attend the CA$H Committee meetings on Tuesdays at 9:20 p.m. in SC 223 to learn more about pressing higher education issues.