PRINTER'S NO. 599
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
536
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BROWNE, AUMENT, MARTIN, LEACH, ARGALL, PHILLIPS-
HILL, FOLMER, BAKER, BLAKE, K. WARD, DINNIMAN, YUDICHAK,
MENSCH, STEFANO, J. WARD AND TARTAGLIONE, APRIL 10, 2019
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, APRIL 10, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," establishing the Public Higher
Education Funding Commission.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, is amended by adding an
article to read:
ARTICLE XX-I
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO
INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Section 2001-I. Public Higher Education Funding Commission.
(a) Establishment.--The Public Higher Education Funding
Commission is established.
(b) Duties.--The commission shall review and make
recommendations related to higher education funding,
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affordability and effectiveness and administration and
operations as provided in this section.
(c) Membership.--
(1) The commission shall consist of the following
members:
(i) The chair and minority chair of the
Appropriations Committee of the Senate and the chair and
minority chair of the Appropriations Committee of the
House of Representatives.
(ii) The chair and minority chair of the Education
Committee of the Senate and the chair and minority chair
of the Education Committee of the House of
Representatives.
(iii) Two legislators appointed by the President pro
tempore of the Senate.
(iv) Two legislators to be appointed by the Speaker
of the House of Representatives.
(v) One legislator to be appointed by the Minority
Leader of the Senate.
(vi) One legislator to be appointed by the Minority
Leader of the House of Representatives.
(vii) The Secretary of Education.
(2) The commission shall appoint a member to serve as
chair of the commission.
(d) Meetings.--
(1) The commission shall hold its first meeting within
45 days of the effective date of this section, regardless of
whether all legislative caucuses have approved members to the
commission.
(2) The commission shall hold meetings at the call of
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the chair.
(e) Payments to members.--The members may not receive
compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for all
necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred in
connection with the performance of their duties as members of
the commission.
(f) Administrative support.--The General Assembly shall
provide administrative support, meeting space and any other
assistance required by the commission to carry out its duties
under this section in cooperation with the department. The
department shall provide the commission with data, research and
other information upon request by the commission.
(g) Cooperation from public institutions of higher
education.--The public institutions of higher education shall
provide meeting space and any other assistance required by the
commission to carry out its duties under this section. The
public institutions of higher education shall provide the
commission with data, research and other information upon
request of the chairman.
(h) Higher education funding formula.--The commission shall
develop a higher education funding formula and identify factors
that may be used to determine the distribution of funding among
the public institutions of higher education. The factors
identified under this subsection may include all of the
following:
(1) Goals for higher education.
(2) Goals for higher education completion and
attainment.
(3) This Commonwealth's higher education needs.
(4) The affordability of higher education for residents
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of this Commonwealth.
(5) Resident and nonresident undergraduate and graduate
enrollments.
(6) Graduation rates.
(7) Retention rates.
(8) Time to degree, including associate's degrees and
bachelor's degrees.
(9) Cost per degree, including tuition and fees.
(10) Operational cost per full-time student.
(11) Student debt, including debt of graduates and
noncompleters.
(12) Student financial aid, including programs operated
by the agency.
(13) Job placement after graduation.
(14) Entry level wages.
(15) Degrees granted in occupations that will align with
the Commonwealth's long-term economic needs.
(16) Utilization of existing educational programs and
facilities.
(17) Transfer and articulation of credits between public
institutions of higher education.
(18) Institutional mission, including metrics that
reflect differences in the missions between the institutions.
(19) The appropriate level of recurring State support to
maintain operations.
(20) The appropriate level of formula driven funding to
incentivize success.
(21) The access and success of underrepresented
populations.
(22) Comparisons of the factors contained in this
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section with those factors for private institutions of higher
education that are located inside and outside this
Commonwealth, when available.
(23) Other factors related to higher education and the
distribution of higher education funding that the commission
deems appropriate.
(i) Additional powers and duties.--The commission shall have
all of the following powers and duties:
(1) Review and make findings and recommendations related
to higher education funding in this Commonwealth.
(2) Consult with and utilize experts to assist the
commission in carrying out the duties under this subsection.
(3) Receive input from interested parties, including,
but not limited to, public institutions of higher education.
(4) Hold public hearings in different regions of this
Commonwealth.
(5) Review and consider higher education funding
formulas and factors utilized throughout the United States.
(6) In identifying the higher education funding factors
under subsection (h) and in completing the report required
under this subsection, consider the impact these factors may
have on the distribution of higher education funding among
the public institutions of higher education.
(7) Review the administration and operation of State and
regional higher education programs and services, including
the public institutions of higher education and the agency to
determine if cost savings for the Commonwealth and its
students may be achieved and make recommendations to
implement savings and efficiencies.
(8) Review the administration and operations of State
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and regional higher education programs and services,
including the public institutions of higher education and the
agency, and make recommendations regarding administration and
operations.
(9) Prior to recommending a higher education funding
formula under this section, consider the potential
consequences of a higher education funding formula that does
not allocate to each public institution of higher education
at least the same level or proportion of State funding as the
institution received in the prior fiscal year.
(10) Prior to recommending a higher education funding
formula under this section, consider nationally accepted
accounting and budgeting standards.
(11) Develop a proposed higher education funding formula
and factors pursuant to subsection (h).
(12) Draft proposed legislation based on the
commission's findings.
(13) Issue a report of the commission's findings and
recommendations to the Governor, the President pro tempore of
the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the Senate, the
Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the House of
Representatives, the Secretary of Education and the State
Board of Education, the Appropriations Committee of the
Senate, the Appropriations Committee of the House of
Representatives, the Education Committee of the Senate and
the Education Committee of the House of Representatives not
later than one year after the effective date of this section.
(j) Effective date of higher education funding formula.--The
higher education funding formula developed by the commission
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shall not go into effect unless the formula is approved by an
act of the General Assembly enacted after the effective date of
this section.
(k) Continuation of commission.--Every five years the
commission shall be reconstituted in accordance with subsection
(c) and shall meet and hold public hearings to review the
operation of the higher education funding provisions of this
section and shall make a further report and issue the report to
the recipients listed in subsection (i)(13).
(l) Level of state funding through appropriations.--The
General Assembly shall, through the annual appropriations
process, determine the level of State funding for public
institutions of higher education.
(m) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance
Agency.
"Commission." The Public Higher Education Funding Commission
established under this section.
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Public institution of higher education." A State-owned
university, a State-related university, a community college, the
Pennsylvania College of Technology and the Thaddeus Stevens
College of Technology.
Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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