State college stipends shortchanged by strapped budget, audit finds
Todd Engdahl / EdNews Colorado
A state audit released today found what everybody in higher education already knows – the College Opportunity Fund program of student stipends doesn’t work as intended.
The first-ever performance audit of how state colleges and universities are funded was presented to the Legislature Audit Committee by representatives of the Sacramento, Calif.-based firm Sjoberg Evanshenk, which did the review on contract with the state auditor.
It concluded, “The shift in the funding mechanism for higher education has not been fully implemented.”
The program doesn’t work as intended because of tight state budgets in recent years, auditors found, not because the Department of Higher Education or campus administrators haven’t administered it properly.
Rather than following the funding requirements of the law, “The amount of state support provided to each institution is decided through a legislative budgeting process based on the state’s fiscal capacity to fund higher education,” not much different from what was done before the program was created, the audit noted.
The method for funding state colleges and universities was created by the 2004 legislature to replace the old system of direct state appropriations to colleges and universities. …read full story by EdNews Colorado
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