The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) voted to dump its “Bottom 3” policy yesterday after members of the Florida House of Representatives blasted it.
But BOG Vice-Chair Sydney Kitson, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, avoided talking about the criticism from state representatives before recommending that the full board scrap the policy.
“We’re eliminating the Bottom 3,” Kitson said. “We had, uh, talked about that before. It served its purpose for the last five years and we’ve seen very very good improvement. And we always thought that we need to change, uh, things as we go along these metrics and this one that we agree is something that we should do now.”
The BOG formerly denied PBF money to the three universities that finished in the “Bottom 3” of the performance based-funding (PBF) metrics each year no matter how much they improved.
The BOG has been under pressure from the Florida House of Representatives to put an end to the “Bottom 3” policy. State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero called for that change in their bipartisan effort to overhaul the PBF metrics during the last legislative session.
“This ‘Bottom 3’ concept within the Board of Governors is a flawed system,” Alexander said back in December 2017. “It is a tiered system. And it is not in the best interests of all of our state universities.”
Rodrigues got the legislature to pass a requirement for the BOG to recommend a set of changes that must include providing PBF money based on “‘continuous improvement’ by the schools regardless of how they are ranked against each other.”
The new PBF policies approved by BOG yesterday also address another issue Alexander mentioned in a letter to the BOG in September.
Alexander said that another problem with the PBF metrics was: “Inconsistent results, in how funding is allocated, does not consistently reward universities for showing improvement; FAMU improved by 7 points and will not receive funding (score = 72 points) 2017: FAU decreased by 12 points and received funding (score = 72 points).”
The BOG passed changes yesterday that said: “(a) All SUS institutions with a score the same or higher as the previous year, shall be eligible for their proportional amount of the state’s investment; (b) Any institution with a score less than the previous year but the previous year’s score was higher or the same than the year before, shall be eligible for their proportional amount of the state’s investment.”
Universities that “score the same or lower than the previous year’s score for two consecutive years” can still get up to 100 percent of their state investment funds by submitting an improvement plan to BOG and making progress on it. University that “score lower than 70 points” can get up to 50 percent of their state investment funds by using those same steps.
View the BOG meeting here.