New Mexico higher education authorities introduce new funding initiative

In a shakeup of how colleges and universities in New Mexico are funded, schools will receive federal education funds based on how well they are performing, reports New Mexico Business Weekly.

According to the news source, federal education spending has been reduced by 16 percent from 2009 to 2011, a reduction of $113 million. The new proposals announced by New Mexico's Higher Education Secretary Jose Garcia will mean that schools performing well will be allocated more funding than those that are not.

Under the new legislation, schools will have to demonstrate how many students are completing courses; the number of degrees and certificates awarded in comparison to how many college applications they receive; graduation levels of "at-risk" students from economically challenged backgrounds; and how much emphasis is placed on science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – majors.

"The federal government can ease the burden of tuition increases with financial aid, but there is no mechanism for it to force the states to maintain funding for higher [education]," Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, told The New York Times. "And what legislators see is that tuition goes up and enrollment stays high."

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