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State University System of Florida Performance-Based Funding Model Study


In November 2018, the Florida House of Representatives contracted with NCHEMS to conduct a review of the performance-based funding (PBF) model in use by the State University System of Florida.

Topics Challenges Approach Impacts Resources


The House of Representatives directed NCHEMS to “evaluate the current status of the State University System Performance-Based Funding Incentive, assess alternative practices in other states, and identify and assess alternative policies to guide future funding decisions related to outcome-based funding in the State University System of Florida.”


NCHEMS found that the PBF model has had substantial positive impacts on institutional policies and practices. However, NCHEMS’ analyses also raised important concerns that the model’s design impeded progress toward the achievement of state goals related to educational attainment and failed to adequately address inequity in educational opportunity.


In developing the report, NCHEMS drew on its experience in researching, analyzing, and providing technical assistance to states concerning postsecondary finance policy. NCHEMS collected data and documents from Florida, analyzed the allocations that have been made on the basis of the model, and compared model design with NCHEMS’ criteria for best practice.

In addition, NCHEMS held a series of interviews with key stakeholders identified by the House of Representatives who could offer valuable perspectives on the historical evolution of the PBF model and its effectiveness.

A final report was presented to the House of Representatives in October 2019 and Brian Prescott gave testimony to the House in January 2020.


There have been some modest changes in the SUS’ PBF model since NCHEMS delivered its report, but changes in the legislature and among its staff, substantial support among influential legislators and the SUS leadership for the model and their sense that the model had helped drive improvement in the national rankings of the most elite public institutions, and the onset of the pandemic appears to have blunted the report’s impact. Underlying concerns about the model persist, however, and NCHEMS’ report provided some valuable recommendations for addressing those without discarding what has been useful about Florida’s implementation of performance funding. Should political attention and influence coalesce enough to take another look, NCHEMS’ report offers a comprehensive review that can be helpful.