By Andrea Kelly
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
PHOENIX - A higher education-funding bill that university and Arizona Board of Regents presidents did not support at the state legislature was brought back to life yesterday after it failed last week.
The bill, which would have made numerous changes to the higher education system in the state, will again attempt to pass through the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate, though it was voted down in a Senate committee last week. With a change in the funding universities and community colleges receive based on the number of full-time students and a restructuring to allow some community colleges to offer limited four-year baccalaureate degrees, the bill passed a House Appropriations committee again yesterday.
The noted change from the version that failed last week is the addition of a committee to oversee the implementation of the four-year baccalaureate degrees at those community colleges that decide to offer such degrees.
Community colleges have supported the bill since it was introduced March 3, saying it would help them bring a more affordable education to outlying communities in the state. The three state universities have opposed the bill all along, calling for more research to determine what changes are necessary before they are implemented across the higher education system.
The bill will now face the full Arizona House of Representatives, where it previously passed by the smallest possible margin of 31-24 with five representatives not voting.