The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, would create a new model for calculating education funding for Missouri's higher education institutions based on performance and job placement. The bill provides that 10 percent of each public institution of higher education's state appropriation must be designated and set aside for performance-based funding.
The bill would require the state's Coordinating Board for Higher Education to define performance measures for each institution, which would be used to delegate funds.
The Senate added an amendment that would provide an additional 10 percent of the institution's funding based on the number of students who get jobs after graduation.
"I believe strongly that everyone should be focused on job creation and making sure these students get jobs," said amendment sponsor Sen. Brad Lager, R-Maryville.
Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said he opposed appropriating 10 percent of the funding because the number of jobs for placement is beyond the control of the university.
"What if there just aren't jobs available in the marketplace around whatever institution we are talking about?" Schaaf questioned.
In addition to Lager's amendment, the Senate approved another amendment that would create a separate funding system for Truman State University. Amendment sponsor Sen. Eric Schmitt said Truman State is the only highly selective liberal arts college in the state and is different than any other state institution, meaning it should not be compared to Missouri's other higher education institutions.
"They really do want to be judged," said Schmitt, R-St. Louis County. "Lets just be fair about how they are being judged."
Sen. Kurt Schaeffer, R-Columbia, said Schmitt's amendment was unfair because it singles out one institution or entity.
"I think that the only way this gets accomplished is if everyone is in the pod and moving forward," Schaeffer said. "Because I think that's the only way that you actually come to a consensus."
Pearce's bill require one more affirmative vote before it can head to the House.