Higher Ed Spending Remains Contentious in State Budget Talks

At the General Assembly, the House of Delegates and State Senate have each introduced their own versions of the state budget.  Considering that there are billions of dollars at stake, there are a lot of details to consider. 

Funding for Virginia’s colleges and universities remains a point of disagreement between the governor and the two houses.  Today’s Washington Post story on the budgets highlights the difference:

Last week, Kaine proposed to close the shortfall by reducing money for school construction by more than $100 million, cutting aid to local governments by 5.4 percent and reducing grants to public colleges and universities by 2 percent.

The Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee largely agreed with Kaine, approving a budget that calls for cuts to higher education and a significant transfer from the reserve fund.

The House Appropriations Committee decided instead to balance the budget through other spending cuts and a series of accounting maneuvers. With those savings, the House proposal restores most of the money for higher education and local governments that Kaine had proposed cutting.

It’s not too late to be heard on this issue.  If you feel strongly about the issue of cutting college budgets, you should contact your delegate and state senator and tell them.

Posted by Jeff Kraus

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