higher education

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Ill. unpaid bills top $4.2 billion in Comptroller's office

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says there are  even more bills piled up in other government departments. She said Wednesday the state's overall backlog is about $8.5 billion. That means organizations that provide services for the state, from businesses to hospitals to charity groups, must wait months to be paid for their work. Topinka's office is still paying bills that date back to Sept. 1 - four and a half months ago.

Adam Procter | flickr

Missouri's legislative budget leaders may not go along with Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed cuts to public colleges and universities.

Nixon has proposed a 12.5 percent reduction to higher education institutions for the next academic year.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer said Wednesday he does not intend to follow Nixon's recommendation. The Columbia Republican says the cut would be a huge blow to higher education.

(via Flickr/Adam Procter)

A task force is recommending that funding for universities and community colleges in Missouri be based in part on graduation rates and other performance-based criteria.

The recommendation was presented today in Jefferson City to the state’s Coordinating Board for Higher Education.  State Senator David Pearce (R, Warrensburg) chairs the Senate Education Committee.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Mo. state auditor Tom Schweich says contracts between five state universities and former presidents may not be in the best interest of the schools, and some may violate provisions of state law.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Saluki wiki)

Faculty at Southern Illinois University's flagship campus in Carbondale will be voting later this month on whether to go on strike as part of a lingering contract dispute.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that the group representing tenured and tenure-track faculty at the 20,000-student school voted unanimously Thursday to seek a strike-authorization vote. That means the entire membership will vote Sept. 28 on whether a walkout is in order.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) wants to move Missouri’s universities and community colleges back to a performance-based funding model.

It would mark a return to the way business was once conducted.  Graduation rates and similar markers were used as a basis for funding public colleges in Missouri, but the system was dumped a decade ago during an economic recession.

The Missouri Senate has passed the state budget for next year.

The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding.  Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.

Several local gun stores are reporting an increased demand for tactical weapons and training.
(via Flickr/Foxtongue)

A judge has issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the Illinois State Police from releasing the names of registered gun owners in the state - something the agency doesn't want to do anyway.

The order was handed down Friday in Peoria. It is the latest chapter in a battle between the state's attorney general and police force over the release of names of the state's Firearm Owners Identification cardholders.

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