Tenn. Board of Regents system chancellor says state must fully fund outcome-based formula

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KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee Board of Regents system Chancellor John Morgan says TBR schools cannot meet the state's college graduation goals unless the state fully funds its outcome-based education formula.

Tennessee's Drive to 55 initiative aims to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate to 55 by the year 2025.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1v8vYaH) for the TBR system that means graduating a minimum of 43,202 students by 2025. So far, the system is exceeding the trajectory needed to meet that goal. But Morgan warned that without proper funding, that trajectory may not last.

His remarks came during a Friday legislative breakfast sponsored by Pellissippi State Community College.

Morgan said he hopes Gov. Bill Haslam's upcoming budget proposal includes an $18 million increase in state appropriations to TBR colleges and universities, an amount was recommended by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Morgan said funding is especially important as the TBR system prepares for its first class of Tennessee Promise freshmen. Roughly 57,000 Tennessee high school seniors have completed the initial applications for the last-dollar scholarship that provides free tuition for two years at a state community college or technical school.

The TBR system consists of six universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology. Some TBR colleges expect their freshman classes to as much as double, and the four-year schools aren't sure what it means for their class sizes, Morgan said.

In a nod to the debate over Common Core, Morgan also said the state must maintain "college-ready" K-12 academic standards.


Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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