From Education Dive – Missouri’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education this week unanimously approved a measure to tie 10% of state funding to school performance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Board members hope the move will serve as a good faith demonstration to elected officials they’re being “good stewards” of state money while also improving the quality of higher education in the state.

Performance-based funding models are increasingly popular in states looking to balance budgets, often seeing what they consider to be a largely ineffective higher education paradigm as an easy first place to cut. And in some ways, the ideas behind performance-based funding make good common sense: In almost any other scenario, if the job doesn’t get done, money doesn’t change hands. In this case, the job many legislators and other public officials feel isn’t being done is graduating students with marketable skills so they can then go and put that money back into the local economy. Jessie Ryan, executive vice president for the campaign for college opportunity, said during a recent meeting that “For every new $1 investment in higher education, the state will yield a $4 return on investment,” but that return isn’t being realized if graduation rates are low.

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