Apr 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KNSI) - It's a green light for Minnesota Senate's education budget, a $2.8 billion package that aims to hold down tuition and make public universities and colleges more accountable to the state - and one local lawmaker says he thinks it will be a strong benefit in the long run.
The funding bill sends more money to the state's grant program, gives the University of Minnesota money for a two-year tuition freeze and bars Minnesota State Colleges and Universities from increasing tuition by more than 3 percent.
The move passed 46-18 with strong bi-partisan support, including from local Republican Senator John Pederson.
Pederson says there were many features of the bill he appreciated, including performance metrics to gauge how well universities and colleges are serving students.
"Both school systems will have to meet certain requirements to get their funding, and if they don't, then up to 5% of the funding could be held back by the state," Pederson says. "Those metrics will focus on all of the areas of success, including graduation rates."
Pederson says he believes there are solid dividends for Minnesota's institutions in the long-run, including nearly $100 million for future need-based grants.
The House is expected to take up its bill on the issue next week, which funds a tuition freeze for both school systems.
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