State saves, students pay in Tom Corbett budget plan
The heads of Pennsylvania’s four largest universities pleaded with lawmakers this week to ignore Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to cut state subsidies on higher education by 30 percent.
Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart calculated a $4,000 jump in tuition and Lincoln University President Robert Jennings said students would have to pay $1,350 more to attend the traditionally African-American school if the cuts go through.
Corbett unveiled the cuts in a $27.1 billion budget proposed earlier this month. He also said he wanted to withhold 20 percent of funding from 14 other state-related universities.
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities are facing a dire situation.
“What we’re seeing is the dismantling of a long, long commitment to higher education in Pennsylvania,” he said, adding that the trend is pushing Pitt and other public schools to think about turning private.
By the numbers
Pennsylvania has until June 30 to adopt its 2012-13 budget and it is constitutionally prohibited from carrying a deficit.
The $230 million saved from higher education costs would help plug a projected $719 million deficit, he said. Such a cut would follow a 24 percent decrease in state aid this year.
In his first budget after taking office in January 2011, Corbett proposed cutting state funding to the four colleges by half, but eventually agreed with lawmakers to a 19 percent decrease.
An additional 5 percent in aid was frozen by the governor last December.