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GRAD Act report hurts school funding for Southern system - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

GRAD Act report hurts school funding for Southern system

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LOUISIANA (KTBS) - Students no doubt will be glad tuition won't rise at southern university campuses this fall. But schools that failed to meet the standards of the grad act will feel the pinch of trying to maintain buildings and pay faculty.

This makes a hard decision even harder because system wide it is about 3 million dollars less than we had planned on in the budget but we will make the adjustment and we will balance the budget and we will move forward," said Ronald Mason Jr. President of Southern University Systems. 

With the state reducing funding to higher education in recent years, lawmakers in 2010 agreed to give schools latitude in raising their tuition, If they hit certain performance benchmarks, such as increased graduation rates to qualify.

Ronald Mason Jr., said across the board, schools in the Southern system are doing a lot of things to improve graduation rates and retention rates.

"This is a conversation we are going to have with the Board of Regents. With the budget cuts  going on, it is difficult for a lot of schools to maintain high levels of performance," said Mason Jr.

The Shreveport campus was to receive $6 M in state funds this year which resulted in a $900,000  loss.

The Baton Rouge campus lost $3.6 M of the $24.4 M  it was to receive.

And the law school lost $831,750 of it's $5.45 M in state funding.

Senator Greg Tarver said the findings are not a true measure of the school's success.

"I really hate that they failed the GRAD Act but it is not going to affect them financially. They will receive $450,000  dollars from the state in the general fund budget. At the same time they will have $7M dollars for  a new classroom building at Southern University. Also, I was able to get them $3.7 M dollars for their nursing program," said Tarver.

The GRAD act was passed in 2010.

LSU- Eunice became the first school that failed to meet the GRAD Act requirements.


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