University Leaders Thank Corbett for Restored Education Funding
HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has announced funding in the 2012-13 fiscal year will be restored to 2011-12 budget levels for Pennsylvania’s state and state-related universities, in addition to record funding for basic education.
The presidents and chancellors of Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln universities, as well as Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and the PA State System of Higher Education, joined Corbett and Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis and others this morning to thank the governor for his continued support of public education.
“Coupled with the largest amount of state taxpayer dollars ever put toward basic education, this financial commitment should leave no doubt: in Pennsylvania, education is our top spending priority,” Corbett said.
Revenues in the last few months have come in higher than projected, Corbett said, meaning that if the budget is approved by the legislature, higher education funding will be restored to its full 2011-12 levels.
More than 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s total budget is spent on education. This year, for the second consecutive year, state funding for early, basic and higher education will total $11.34 billion, an increase of $378 million, or a 3.5 percent increase over the 2011-12 budget. Higher education will receive $1.58 billion.
In return for $937.9 million in state funding, postsecondary education leaders promised minimal, if any, tuition increases to protect taxpayers and students from continually rising costs.
“My administration has been working for months with our university presidents and legislative leaders to reach the point where we are today,” Corbett said. “Our agreement is this: if the state will give the universities the same amount of funding as last year, the universities will keep tuition and costs down for the students and their families.”
“Postsecondary education… really is the foundation for our economy. We’re grateful to the leaders who recognized that and worked tirelessly to make sure the funding needed to grow the economy will be available,” said PA State System of Higher Education Chancellor John Cavanaugh. “Thank you, governor and members of the General Assembly, for doing all that you can to help us meet those educational and economic needs.”
“Higher education is a major driver of our economy and contributes so much to the future of the state of Pennsylvania,” said Penn State University President Rodney Erickson. “We’re grateful for the leadership of the governor and his administration, legislative leadership… who have played such an important role in coming to this point.”
“We join with the governor in urging the legislature to take quick action,” said University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. “We express gratitude and pledge that these investments will continue to produce great returns for the people of Pennsylvania.”
Other higher education leaders participating in today’s event included Lincoln University President Robert Jennings, Temple University Acting-President Richard Englert and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology President William Griscom.