Flat funding for higher education

Governor Tom Corbett announced his plan for the budget of state universities to remain flat for 2013-14 last week.
The 14 state universities will all receive the same amount of funding, $1.58 billion, in return for a promise to keep tuition increases as low as possible, according to As of Feb. 1, tuition increases project to be below two percent.
The proposal is a change from last year, when Corbett intended to cut the budget of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools by 20 percent. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, $245 million in cuts were expected but were removed after negotiations.
“All of us here share the view that responsible pricing of tuition is essential,” Corbett said. “We are all working together to make higher education in Pennsylvania both excellent and affordable.”
Although PASSHE benefits from the flat funding, it faces other problems. According to its website, enrollment at its schools decreased by 3,753 from 2011 to 2012.
PASSHE Board of Governors Chairman Guido Pichini responded positively to the governor’s proposal.
“We are grateful to Governor Corbett for his support and look forward to working with him and the Legislature over the coming weeks to achieve the funding necessary to ensure our universities can continue to offer high quality, affordable education to our students,” said Pichini in a statement issued after the announcement.
According to Kenn Marshall, Media Relations Manager for PASSHE, many discussions will take place before the budgets for PASSHE and the universities are officially decided.

By Emily Leayman

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