2007 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Gordon, Frazier, Albritton, Brown, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Chaney, Chassaniol, Davis, Dearing, Fillingane, Gollott, Harden, Horhn, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Lee (47th), Lee (35th), Little, Moffatt, Morgan, Nunnelee, Pickering, Posey, Ross, Simmons, Thames, Walley, White, Wilemon, Williamson, Clarke
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE LEGISLATURE SHALL ANNUALLY APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR MID-LEVEL FUNDING FOR MISSISSIPPI'S PUBLIC COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(1) Mississippi's public community and junior colleges are Mississippi's best educational buy. An education at Mississippi's community and junior colleges is affordable and accessible to all. Mississippians have an option to attend a community or junior college close to home, with smaller class sizes and at approximately one-half (1/2) the cost of tuition at a public four-year institution;
(2) In recent fiscal years, appropriations for community and junior colleges have not kept pace with increases appropriated to K-12 and the state institutions of higher learning;
(3) A need exists to provide adequate funding for Mississippi's community and junior colleges; and
(4) Adequate funding should be accomplished through appropriate funding on a full-time equivalency (FTE) basis.
SECTION 2. As used in this act:
(1) "Full-time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment" shall be calculated from credit/contact hour data as defined by the Southeastern Regional Education Board (SREB). Annual total undergraduate semester credit hours are divided by thirty (30); total undergraduate quarter hours are divided by forty-five (45); total graduate semester credit hours are divided by twenty-four (24); and total graduate quarter hours are divided by thirty-six (36).
(2) "State funds" means all funds appropriated from the State Legislature, including the General Fund, the Education Enhancement Fund, the Budget Contingency Fund and the Healthcare Expendable Trust Fund.
(3) "E & G operations" means education and general expenses of the colleges and universities.
(4) "Average Daily Attendance (ADA)" means the figure which results when the total aggregate attendance during the period or months counted is divided by the number of days during the period or months counted upon which both teachers and pupils are in regular attendance for scheduled classroom instruction less the average daily attendance for self-contained special education classes and, prior to full implementation of the adequate education program the department shall deduct the average attendance of the alternative school program provided for in Section 37-19-22, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. (1) In funding community and junior colleges, the amount of the annual appropriation of the community and junior colleges' general support bill shall be computed as follows:
(a) Calculate the state funding per student for K-12 by dividing the total revenue from state funds by the ADA. Both funding and ADA figures shall be provided by the Mississippi Department of Education;
(b) Calculate the state funding per FTE for regional universities by dividing these state funds for E&G operations by FTE. Both funding and enrollment figures shall come from the SREB State Data Exchange and the state institutions of higher learning;
(c) Mid-level funding for community and junior colleges shall be the average as computed from (a) and (b) above multiplied by the total community and junior college FTE's. This amount shall be appropriated annually by the Legislature to the community and junior colleges.
(2) Data used in the calculation of (a), (b) and (c) above shall be the most current available data utilizing the same fiscal year for all entities involved. Information from the SREB State Data Exchange will be used to ensure common denominators in the calculation of full-time equivalent enrollment and to ensure consistent reporting of financial data.
SECTION 4. Any increase of funds calculated under this act over the fiscal year 2007 level of state funding shall be phased-in over a three-fiscal-year period as provided in the following:
(a) For fiscal year 2008, one-third (1/3) of the calculated increase shall be funded;
(b) For fiscal year 2009, two-thirds (2/3) of the calculated increase shall be funded;
(c) For fiscal year 2010, one hundred percent (100%) of the calculated increase shall be funded.
SECTION 5. This act shall be codified in Title 37, Chapter 29, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.