Corbett proposes steady funding for state-run and related universities
HARRISBURG — After two straight years of proposing drastic cuts to higher education, Gov. Tom Corbett on Friday said the state budget he will propose next week includes no change from this year in funding to state universities and state-related schools.
Instead of starting in the hole, Pennsylvania universities will at least get the same $1.58 billion in the next fiscal year as this year. In exchange, university leaders promised to keep tuition increases as low as possible, Corbett said.
He releases his budget on Tuesday, kicking off consideration by the General Assembly.
Lawmakers must approve the package as part of a 2013-14 spending plan that begins with a deficit of $500 million to $1 billion, according to Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, R-Centre County, who attended Corbett's announcement.
The tuition limit is a verbal agreement. Neither Corbett nor lawmakers in attendance would provide a specific number they would consider a maximum allowable tuition increase. The Legislature wouldn't look favorably next year on universities that raise tuition 6 to 7 percent, said Corman, whose district includes Penn State's main campus.
“I expect it'll be less than 5 percent,” Corman added.
In addition to Penn State and other state-related universities of Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln, there are 14 state-owned universities such as Slippery Rock, California, Shippensburg, Edinboro and Indiana.
“Our commitment allows schools to plan their budgets for the coming year and make the best use of their resources,” Corbett said. “Their commitment should allow students and their families to plan their own budgets.”
In a similar agreement with lawmakers last year, Temple froze tuition, Penn State's overall tuition for its main campus went up 2.4 percent, and Pitt, Lincoln and state system universities raised tuition by 3 percent. Corbett and lawmakers last year eliminated the governor's proposed 20- to 30-percent cuts as state revenue improved throughout the start of the fiscal year.
“It's true that in the final 2012-13 enacted budget most of higher education was level-funded from the previous year,” said House Democratic spokesman Bill Patton. “But this was achieved at the end of June only after legislators and other interested people fought and scrapped to get funding restored, overcoming the governor's desire last February to keep cutting higher education.”
The funding-tuition agreement stems from recommendations by the Governor's Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education headed by former Republican Senator Rob Wonderling of Montgomery County. Recommendations included long-term financial and accountability proposals and linking increases to performance and tuition containment.
“The report clearly does call for a commitment to cost containment,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. The report also “recognizes we do need a higher level of funding and (that we) not drop below last year's level.”
Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pens’ Dupuis out at least a month with lower-body injury
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- Starkey: Searage, Pirates ultra-confident
- New Steelers kicker Boswell ready for challenge at Heinz
- Road crews are dealing with oil and sealant spills on roadways
- Husband, wife die in apparent murder-suicide in Baldwin Borough
- Allegheny Township home destroyed by fire
- Latrobe infant found in filth, police say
- Audit: Pennsylvania’s education master plan is 16 years out of date
- Pitt football team staying humble amid 3-1 start
- Pa. Gov. Wolf pushes ‘broad-based tax increase’ to avoid $2B deficit