The Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee began hearings Monday on the funding bill for post-secondary education. The bill includes funding for community colleges, public universities, student financial assistance programs and workforce development programs.
Ben Cannon, executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, led the presentation, with support from other higher education stakeholders and experts. Cannon described higher education in Oregon as going in the correct direction, specifically describing the increasing rate of higher education degree holders since 2006.
“A lot of people went back to school in 2008, 2009 and 2010,” he said. “We’re seeing the benefits of that beginning in 2012.”
He also noted that Oregon is a “net-importer” of higher education degrees, meaning that people moving to Oregon have degrees.
Subcommittee members spent significant time Monday discussing Oregon’s “40-40-20” goal. Some committee members referenced measures that would change the 40-40-20 goals, describing the goals as contrary to the anticipated needs for Oregon’s workforce.
Cannon defended the goal, saying that the goals' architects in 2011 envisioned “the workforce of the future, the workforce of 2025.”
The education subcommittee expects hearings to continue for two to three weeks.