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Community College Reform

SECTION 171.   The commissioner of higher education, in consultation with the presidents of the community colleges and representatives of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, shall develop a funding formula for the community colleges which incorporates the allocation of appropriations to the individual community colleges based, in part, on performance. In developing the system of allocations, the commissioner and community college presidents shall consider: (1) accurate enrollment data for each college and the operational goals and needs for each college; (2) institutional performance with respect to clearly defined goals and metrics; and (3) the relationship of the allocation formula to state initiatives relative to innovation and institutional action in support of workforce development, partnerships with commonwealth businesses and industry, collaboration with state universities and vocational-technical schools, and overall revenue available to each institution.

The commissioner of higher education, in consultation with the presidents of the community colleges, shall establish the goals and metrics for measuring community college performance. The goals and metrics shall include, but not be limited to: the educational goals and metrics included in the Vision Project, including those related to the improvement of graduation and student success rates and the closing of the achievement gaps for low income and moderate income students, adult students, and students requiring remediation upon entry; and alignment of degree and certificate programs with existing and emerging business and industry sectors in the commonwealth. In addition, a portion of performance funding may be utilized by the board of higher education to provide grants to community colleges based on, but not limited to, the following: coordinated procurement of goods and services among the community colleges and other public higher education institutions, including, but not limited to, consolidation of information technology platforms and services; undertaking innovative methods for delivering quality higher education that increase capacity, reduce costs, and promote student completion; engaging in statewide and regional collaborations with other public higher education institutions that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and promote quality, including, but not limited to, in the areas of academic programming and campus management; and improving student learning outcomes assessments set forth by the board of higher education under its Vision Project.

The commissioner of higher education shall submit a report including, but not limited to, the funding formula, clearly defined goals and metrics for the performance-based portion of the formula and other recommendations relative to the promotion of stable, equitable funding of the institutions including efforts to contain the growth in student costs and borrowing. Said report shall be filed with the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on higher education, and the secretary of administration and finance on or before December 1, 2012.