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Lt. Gov. Garcia Presents Proposed Historic Increase to Higher Ed Budget

DENVER — Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 — Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia joined Colorado Commission on Higher Education Chair Dick Kaufman to present Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2014-15 budget proposal for higher education to the Joint Budget Committee today. The budget presentation outlined the increase in state investment for higher education and underscored the need for an educated workforce.

 

“This historic investment in higher education provides students with access to quality higher education opportunities,” said Lt. Gov. Garcia.

 

Garcia and Chair Kaufman tied the investment to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s Master Plan goals. The goals include increasing graduation, improving remediation and support services, reducing attainment gaps for minority and low income students and restoring fiscal balance to ensure a lack of state investment does not leave the largest share of the financial burden on students and families.

 

The presentation provided JBC members with information on how the $100 million increase would be spent and what outcomes they could expect to see in higher education with the strategic investment of those dollars. The Colorado Department of Education budget proposal designated $60 million in operating funding for institutions of higher education, and $40 million in financial aid.

 

The $60 million in operating funds is expected to limit tuition increases in order to keep rates affordable for all Colorado students. It comes with an agreement from the institutions of higher education to limit tuition increases to less than 6 percent.

 

The $40 million in financial aid is designed to help make higher education accessible to lower income students. It includes $5 million in work-study aid, which helps keep students engaged on campus, propelling them toward graduation, and $5 million in merit based aid, which helps keep or most incredible talent in-state.

 

Additionally, Garcia provided information on the Department of Higher Education’s Performance Funding Plan and public accountability measures, designed to incentivize institutions to help students graduate on time and provide Colorado with the educated workforce needed for a thriving economy.

 

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