Today’s budget address from Governor Corbett was neither a surprise nor very helpful.
If you didn’t hear, the Governor announced another year at the same level of funding ($412 million) as the past two years — the amount PASSHE has been held to since the Governor’s 2011 proposed 54 percent cut was carved back to 18 percent by the Legislature.
These numbers mean this: we are currently 47th in the country in per capital spending v. income; last year we were one of ten states to not increase higher ed funding; we rank 45th in 5-year change in higher ed funding (-18.2 percent).
None of those numbers are good.
APSCUF will be working with the Legislature in the coming weeks to push for more funding so that we aren’t now mistaken for a poor, Southern state. We hope you will push your local legislator, too, to re-prioritize the state budget so we don’t continue to overburden our students and their working class families. I remind you that in October, the Board of Governors put out a budget with a 4 percent increase from the state appropriation that would mean a 3 percent increase in tuition. What does flat funding mean to that formula? 5 percent tuition increase? More resource starving of the universities?
We will keep you informed as the weeks to the budget resolution continue.