Tag Archives: Governor Tim Kaine

Tidewater Community College hosting inaugural simulcast for the community

A story today at Inside HigherEd.com talks about the involvement of colleges and universities across the nation in this month’s inauguration of President Barack Obama.  Tidewater Community Community College earned a mention for hosting an event for the entire community.

Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Va. is extending an invitation to the its surrounding neighborhood to gather for the event. It will host an inauguration simulcast on the large-screen of its downtown arts center, a restored 1920’s Loew’s Theater, which can seat 800.

“This is the first-time we’ve done something like this,” said Laurie S. White, Tidewater spokeswoman, adding that she anticipates a capacity crowd given the excitement on her campus. “We still have classes that day, but we’re expecting some classes to join us in the theater for the event.” 

Just like the other Virginia community colleges that are hosting public hearings on Governor Tim Kaine’s budget proposals, this is a reminder of why the word “community” is so prominent in both the names and missions of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

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What Governor Kaine said about community colleges in his budget cutting speech

The following excerpts come from the Governor’s prepared remarks, which you can see by clicking here:

In higher education, our October actions reduced schools’ 2009 base budgets by 5 to 7%. For 2010, I have increased the reductions to 15% for all schools, except the community colleges and Richard Bland, which will have the reduction level increased to 10%.

My introduced budget includes nearly $26 million in additional money for need-based financial aid. This money will bring every institution up to at least 65 percent of the target financial aid level that has been recommended by SCHEV. My introduced budget also includes increases in the Community College Transfer Grant program, helping more students begin their higher educations at a two-year college and then transfer to a four-year institution to get their degree at a lower cost to their families…

While there are many challenges ahead of us, we can look forward with hope. Even in this atmosphere, our excellent schools, colleges and universities produce the ideas and graduates that will keep driving our economy. The advances we have made in career and technical education and our restructuring of workforce efforts under the community college system enable us to better prepare our dedicated workforce. Our international connections through the Port of Virginia and Dulles Airport give us a unique ability to be a leader in global commerce. These strengths and many others of our beloved Commonwealth continue to be our ticket to a prosperous future.

The size and scope of Virginia’s budget problem

In just a few minutes, Governor Tim Kaine will speak to a joint meeting of the General Assembly budget committees.  He is expected to announce cuts to both the state budget and state workforce.

We will blog about the details we learn today with regard to their impact on Virginia’s Community Colleges.

In the press clips this morning, we are learning about the size and scope of the budget challenge.  This was part of the report from Bob Lewis at the Associated Press: 

In his Wednesday morning address to the General Assembly’s money committees, Mr. Kaine will increase the official estimate of the projected budget shortfall through June 2010 to nearly $3 billion, said two Democratic legislative leaders who spoke anonymously because the governor had not made his plans public.

 

In his fourth round of cuts in barely a year, Mr. Kaine will propose about $1.7 billion in cuts on top of nearly $2 billion in earlier reductions spanning two state budgets, the legislators said in separate interviews with the Associated Press.

 

Jeff Shapiro with the Richmond Times-Dispatchis reporting that a cigarette tax hike that is part of Kaine’s plan is almost certain to lead to a fight with the Republican leaders of the House of Delegates:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine’s proposal for balancing Virginia’s recession-ravaged budget includes doubling the cigarette tax, delaying an environmental tax break, drawing nearly $500 million from the “rainy-day fund” and pruning 1,500 state jobs, including 530 new layoffs.

 

The package Kaine will detail today, in which he would again go back on a promise not to raise taxes, is drawing criticism from tobacco-industry allies — among them, senior Republicans.

We’ll have more here as the day unfolds.

Virginia state budget details start to emerge

The snow flurries that appeared yesterday in parts of the commonwealth were not the only indication that Virginia’s winter may be long, dark and bitter.

According to a report from AP reporter Bob Lewis, General Assembly leaders are beginning to learn some of the grim details that confront Virginia’s budget.

…budget writers got their fullest look Tuesday at a darkening fiscal crisis that will soon force them to cut government priorities once held harmless.

“You are at the juncture where all the low-hanging fruit is gone,” members of the House Appropriations Committee learned from the chief of the committee staff, Robert Vaughn.

Virginia’s Community Colleges have already absorbed two different 5% cuts this year – a reduction of $40 million – despite the fact it is continuing to shatter previous enrollment records.

It is hard, however, to find much of a silver lining in the information being presented to law makers:

In the hard-hit real estate sector, Virginia in October saw a tenfold increase in the number of home foreclosures since 2004. People who held onto their homes have seen their equity wither the past two years. One telling measure from the Washington, D.C., market is that the percentage of people who forfeited deposits they had put down on contract to buy a house increased from 4 percent in 2005 to spike at 66 percent in August, largely a measure of buyers who could not secure financing, according to a George Mason University analysis.

Legislators were told to expect a grim 2009, expect a recovery late that year or early 2010, then a more robust economic expansion in 2011. Other glimmers of hope:

_Fuel prices continue to fall as the nation enters the winter heating season.

_There are signs that the worst of the housing slump may be over. And homes are more affordable now than they have been in three years.

_Military spending continues to buttress Virginia’s economy with an 18 percent increase in the past quarter. Virginia is second only to California in military spending.

We will learn more December 17 when Governor Kaine offers his budget amendments to a joint meeting of the General Assembly money committees.

Posted by Jeff Kraus

 

Community colleges boosting nursing ranks

The increases in numbers of new nurses graduating from Virginia’s Community Colleges is so impressive that Governor Kaine wanted everyone to know about it.

In a news release Friday, Governor Kaine applauded the increase and the partnership with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association that is helping make it happen.

In 2005, VHHA and Virginia’s Community Colleges collaborated on a taskforce report that said more than 20,000 new nurses would be needed by 2010.  Since 2003, the percentage of new nurses graduating from Virginia’s Community College has increased 67 percent.

Virginia’s community colleges are educating nearly half of Virginia’s new nurses every year.

— Posted by Susan Hayden

Gov. Kaine submits budget amendments

Governor Tim Kaine released today his amendments to legislation passed by the General Assembly during the 2008 session, including amendments to the 2008-2010 budget.   A summary of Kaine’s amendments are contained in this press release.  There were 41 budget amendments, including some exchange between general funds and the Virginia College Building Authority for VCCS projects, and language clarifying the salary differential for Northern Virginia Community College Faculty.

Amendments must be approved by a majority of each house of the General Assembly.  The General Assembly comes back to consider the Governor’s amendments on April 23.

Posted by Ellen Davenport

 

Virginia leaders differ on higher education spending cuts

There is no joy in Mudville when budget cuts become the focus of a legislative session.  As the General Assembly reaches the mid-point of the scheduled 60-day session, different approaches to how and where additional cuts should be made to the state budget carry significant implications for Virginia’s Community Colleges.

In announcing the commonwealth’s widening budget gap, Governor Tim Kaine proposed cutting higher education budgets after next year:

For the 2009-2010 biennium, the Governor is recommending continued percentage cuts to executive branch agencies at 2% for higher education and 3% for all other agencies.

House Appropriations Chairman, Del. Lacey Putney, in a statement released to the press, says the cuts should instead come from somewhere else in the budget:

[T]here are several strategies proposed by Governor Kaine that we will not adopt, such as additional cuts to higher education, which would merely result in greater tuition increases, hitting middle income Virginians particularly hard.

The eventual compromise that the House, Senate and Governor agree to will have a big impact on Virginia’s Community Colleges, which — according to SCHEV base adequacy calculations — are funded at the lowest level, along with Virginia Tech, among the commonwealth’s public colleges and universities. 

Meanwhile, Virginia’s Community Colleges are serving the vast majority of new college students in Virginia, absorbing 80% of the commonwealth’s enrollment growth.

UPDATE:  In a story in this morning’s Washington Post, high-ranking Republican lawmakers in the House continue to signal that they do not want to further cut the budgets of Virginia’s colleges and universities:

Money to the state’s 16 four-year schools and 23 community colleges was reduced last fall in the state’s first round of budget cuts.

“They took a pretty good hit back in October,” Del. Phillip A. Hamilton (R-Newport News) said. “I would hope we could avoid another round to higher education.”

Hamilton, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said he worried that the colleges and universities would have to make up for the cuts by raising tuition and fees.

Posted by Jeff Kraus