In an op-ed published by the Arizona Capitol Times on February 18 titled “University funding ensures economic vitality, educated workforce” CEO Todd Sanders shares his insight on how higher education not only provides substantial benefits to individuals, but also to the economy and society overall. However, paying for college can be one of the biggest challenges in earning a degree. Fortunately, the Arizona Board of Regents’ new university funding model will address this challenge.
This plan represents a dynamic shift by defining state education investment in terms of Arizona resident students. Its adoption will end the era of funding educational institutions by refocusing education investment on students.
ABOR’s strategic plan also envisions universities staking out a stronger role in K-12 education as a complement to Gov. Doug Ducey’s efforts to improve education outcomes among K-12 students. The proposed funding model would promote further alignment between the K-12 and higher education systems and inspire young students by dedicating funding to their ability to qualify for a university education.
I applaud Gov. Ducey for recognizing the positive elements of this new funding model and for making a budget recommendation of $8 million towards this goal. The governor’s leadership on this issue sends a strong message to the business community, locally and across the nation, that all levels of Arizona’s educational system are important to his administration.
ABOR’s new university funding model provides a solid strategy for the long-term success of our public universities and the Arizona residents they serve. And investing in our public universities will certainly go a long way towards increasing economic vitality for our state and personal success for its citizens.