Missouri senators have given first-round approval to legislation that would reward the state's four-year institutions for good performance with more funding.
Under the measure endorsed Tuesday, public universities would establish performance criteria. The criteria would be used to determine how much extra money the institutions get during years the state can afford to increase college funding.
Missouri lawmakers appear to agree with Gov. Jay Nixon that public colleges and universities should get more money next year.
But some lawmakers want to put part of that money toward building improvements, instead of devoting it to operations as proposed by Nixon.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rick Stream says he wants to make use of a 2012 law that authorizes state money for college building projects that generate a 50 percent match through private donations.
Gov. Jay Nixon wants Missouri's universities to freeze undergraduate tuition next year while also proposing more state funding.
The governor says the budget he recommends next year will include an additional $36.7 million for public universities. The 5 percent funding increase would be distributed using a performance-based funding system.
Nixon announced the proposal Wednesday at Missouri State University in Springfield.
The governor called for a tuition freeze at four-year schools for Missouri undergraduates in the 2014-2015 academic year.
The University of Missouri is expecting fewer freshmen this fall as compared to last year.
A memo from Ann Korschgen, the university's vice provost for enrollment management, and Barbara Rupp, director of admissions, estimates freshman enrollment this fall at 6,165 based on current deposits. That's a drop of nearly 480 from last year.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that officials say the university has anticipated the drop in freshmen as the number of high school students in Missouri and the Midwest declines.