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2012 State of the State Addresses: Governors' Top Education Issues PDF - This analysis highlights the education issues prioritized by governors and the mayor of Washington, D.C. in their 2012 state of the state addresses. The state leaders explained that increasing the quality and availability of education, from preschool through postsecondary, was essential to recovering from the recession, spurring economic growth, remaining competitive, and to the health and well-being of each state's citizens. Top issues include Finance (K-12 & Postsecondary), Teaching Quality, Postsecondary Affordability/Access, School Choice, Workforce Development, Early Learning (P-3), and Reading and Literacy....

In-state Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants MS Word PDF - As immigration to the United States increases, more and more students are entering the education pipeline. Many of these newly arrived students are undocumented, or “illegal” immigrants, and denied the full rights of American citizenship, including educational benefits such as in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. Some states have passed legislation that extends in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, others have proposed laws that restrict the awarding of in-state tuition to these same immigrants. This ESC StateNote provides a summary of states that have passed or have considered legislation regarding tuition for undocumented immigrants. (Carl Krueger, Education Commission of the States, August 2006)...

Merit Scholarships MS Word PDF - In the past 10 years, merit-based scholarships have grown in popularity. Unlike need-based aid, which provides federal or state assistance for low-income students, merit scholarships theoretically award financial aid on the basis of academic achievement. Currently, 13 states offer merit scholarships, with eight more considering legislation in the next year. This report provides a list of key policy components for each state. (Carl Krueger, ECS, July 2001)...

Versions of HOPE Scholarships (“HOPE-like” Scholarship Programs) MS Word - A new movement toward performance-based college tuition assistance is encouraging several states to establish state-funded merit scholarships. Increases in college cost, reductions in the share of public college revenues from state appropriations, changes in the type and sources of financial aid, concerns about improving preparation for college, and college graduation rates are some factors influencing the establishment of state-funded merit scholarship programs. (Education Commission of the States, April 1999)...

A Closer Look: Appropriations to Higher Education (1982-2006) - The second “Closer Look” report is a longitudinal analysis of higher education appropriations in South Carolina and corresponding relationships to tuition and fee trends. Among the findings: general fund appropriations to two- and four-year public institutions increased 20% from 1983-84 to 2006-07; general fund appropriations per full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) decreased 28%; South Carolina four- and two-year institutions have the second lowest appropriation per FTE among the 16 southeastern states; and in-state tuition and fees represent 16.6% of the median household income for South Carolinians – the highest proportion among the southeastern states. The authors conclude that there is a significant difference in how South Carolina funds education when compared with other southeastern states, and that difference has only increased over time. (Alliance for Research on Higher Education, Strom Thurmond Institute, Clemson University, Winter 2007) ...

Measuring Up 2006 - The fourth in a series of biennial report cards, this report is designed to provide the public and policymakers with information to assess and improve postsecondary education in each state. This Web site provides state leaders, policymakers, researchers and others with access to the national report card as well as access to all fifty state report cards. In addition, the site can compare any state with the best-performing states in each performance category, compare indicator scores and state grades for any performance category, obtain source and technical information for indicators and weights, and allow visitors to download the reports. Further, the Web site has the capacity to view previous report cards from 2000, 2002 and 2004....

Case Study of Utah Higher Education - In this case study, the higher education policies of Utah and their effect on preparation, affordability and access are examined in detail. The authors conclude that up to this point, Utah has done a good job of dealing with population growth and rising demand for postsecondary education in the state by adopting policies that allow "intuitional innovation driven by larger state purposes." This includes allowing two-year colleges to offer four-year degrees in targeted areas. Though Utah is unique in many ways from other states, policymakers from across the country can learn from their emphasis on affordability, even in a time of tight budgets and rising enrollments. (Kathy Reeves Bracco and Mario Martinez, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, April 2005)...

Department of Education Improves Rules Guiding Resident Tuition Determinations - A 2003 Florida Office of Program Policy Analyses & Government Accountability report found major weaknesses in the systems used by Florida's universities and community colleges to determine students' residency status and presented recommendations to the state legislature to improve the system. This report contains information on progress taken in response, finding that most of the actions recommended by the 2003 report have been taken, although the department of education decided not to require periodic internal reviews to identify errors leading to costly miscalculations. Also, although the legislature passed a bill that would have further tightened rules for reclassifying nonresident students as residents, the governor vetoed the bill due to concerns about its potential effect on some students. (Office of Program Policy Analyses & Government Accountability, August 2005)...

A Study of the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) Program - This report presents the findings of a study on the KEES program, which provides merit-based grants to Kentucky college students based on their high school gradepoint average and ACT scores. The report contains sections discussing: (1) college access and affordability; (2) funding for KEES; (3) merit- and need-based student financial aid; (4) effect of differing grading scales on KEES awards; and (5) additional policy considerations. Appendix A – starting on page 39 – provides an overview of the KEES program, including KEES award determination, eligibility criteria and KEES award amounts. (Legislative Research Commission, December 2003)...

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