The Role of State Funding Policy in Developmental Education Reform

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June 30, 2022
Author: Sarah Pingel

When enacting developmental education placement and curricular reforms, it is important to assess existing state policies that may counteract the aims of the reform. For example, a minority of states employ state-level postsecondary funding models that can inadvertently encourage systems and institutions to place students in developmental education. This is done by providing boosts in funding for the share of students enrolled in developmental education courses. While initially intended to support institutions in providing more resources to students that need the most assistance, these funding boosts may have unintended consequences in course placement and completion. In turn, this may hinder the effective implementation of developmental reform models such as corequisite remediation. This brief examines this misalignment of funding and developmental education reform policies and provides considerations for states intending to (re)align evidence-based reforms to developmental education with effective state funding incentives. 

Topics: Funding Structures, Policy Change