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House panel votes to give UF, FSU separate performance funding plan


University of Florida and Florida State University would receive special treatment under a performance funding model introduced in the House today. Instead of being compared to the state's other public universities, these top two schools would have their own separate standards and be eligible for double the money.

How much money hasn't been determined. The House's education budget has $45 million for performance funding, an increase from the $40 million recommended by Gov. Rick Scott. Universities want $50 million. Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, said a second performance funding line item will be added to the House budget for UF and FSU only.

The plan approved unanimously by the House's Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee today also had a change that could help New College of Florida, which currently is at risk of losing a small portion of its state funding because of a low score. The eight other public universities would continue to be measured by the 10 criteria outlined by the state Board of Governors earlier this year.

UF and FSU will instead be judged on the 12 standards used in state law to designate them as the state's "pre-eminent" universities. The Board of Governors would have to iron out the details of how to implement the House plan and awarded money to the universities.

New College of Florida receives special treatment because it is the smallest of the group and doesn't yet offer any graduate degrees. The House plan swaps out one of the Board of Governors' criteria for New College -- average cost per undergraduate degree -- and replaces it with the number of students who receive a national award.

The House's revisions could help New College earn additional points compared to the Board of Governors version, which means the school may no longer face losing 1 percent of its state funding. However, it likely will remain in the bottom three and ineligible for any new money.

All of the state universities will review their performance funding results during tomorrow's Board of Governors meeting on FSU's campus. Two schools -- Florida A&M University and University of North Florida -- have seen their scores increase one point since the projections were first released in February because they provided additional information.

Current performance funding scores using the Board of Governors model that includes FSU and UF:

UF, 42

University of South Florida, 37

Florida International University, 34

University of Central Florida, 34

FSU, 33

FAMU, 29

UNF, 29

Florida Gulf Coast University, 28

New College, 25

Florida Atlantic University, 24

University of West Florida, 21