COLUMBIA — The state reduced per-student funding for major public research universities by 13.6 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to a news release sent Wednesday from the National Science Board.
The report comes on the heels of Gov. Jay Nixon's State of the State address, where he proposed a $106 million reduction in funding for higher education institutions. This comes to an approximate 13 percent decrease from last year's budget.
After adjusting figures for inflation, the higher education section of the board's report found per-pupil spending in Missouri dropped from $10,200 to $8,812 from 2002 to 2010. Nationally, state funding for the top 101 public research universities decreased by 10 percent on average during that time, the release stated.
The report, Science and Engineering Indicators, is prepared every two years. It provides data on American jobs and education funding and performance, which have not been adjusted for inflation. Policymakers, federal agencies, researchers and journalists use its findings to evaluate the country's competitiveness in science and technology, the release stated.
Despite the decline in state funding, Missouri’s per-pupil spending is above the national average for the first time since 2005, according to the release. The most recent data reported are for 2010.
The report also examined state spending on student aid per full-time undergraduate student. Missouri has spent far less than the national average on student aid since data were first collected in 1995. For example, in 2006, Missouri spent $198 per student. Nationally, states averaged $785 per student.
But from 2006 to 2008, Missouri's per-pupil student aid spending did increase to $503, which was closer to the national average at that time.