Read about the outlook for state fiscal conditions, the effect of the drop in gas prices on states, the ethics of gifts, the debate over motorcycle helmets and state efforts to support home caregivers.Read a rundown on the top public policy issues facing state lawmakers in 2015, state-private sector partnerships for infrastructure, e-cigarettes and taxes and dealing with cuts to mental health programs.
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Economists are projecting that a growing proportion of jobs will require a college certificate or degree and, as a result, states are considering policies to increase college completion. One of these policies relates to how higher education is funded by the state. Typically, colleges receive state funding based on how many full-time equivalent students are enrolled at the beginning of the semester. That model provides incentives for colleges to enroll students—but not necessarily to help them graduate. Many states are reconsidering the enrollment-based funding model and instead are allocating money to colleges based on the number of students who complete courses and degrees.
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