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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have given first-round approval to legislation that would reward the state's four-year institutions for good performance with more funding.

Under the measure endorsed Tuesday, public universities would establish performance criteria. The criteria would be used to determine how much extra money the institutions get during years the state can afford to increase college funding.

Universities would work with the Department of Higher Education to establish five performance goals. A university's goals must include graduation and retention rates, as well as job placement statistics. The formula would expire in 2016.

Missouri is currently using a similar mechanism to fund the universities but the measure would put the change into law.

The bill needs another vote before moving to the House.

University funding legislation is SB 492.

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