Two other governors have submitted their budget recommendations for fiscal year 2022-2023, both of which call for a healthy increase in state funding for their public colleges and universities. In each case, however, the recurring increases would be linked to the acceptance by institutions to freeze tuition fees for the next academic year.
Caroline from the south
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has proposed a number of new investments for higher education in that state. McMaster’s proposals include:
- $ 183 million for deferred maintenance of higher education
- $ 20 million in one-time lottery revenue to address a nursing shortage in the state. The funds would be used in two ways: $ 10 million to supplement the salaries of nursing professors and $ 10 million to pay for tuition or scholarships for students enrolled in nursing education programs, programs doctoral studies in nursing practice or doctoral programs. As part of this offer, fellows must agree to assume a faculty role in a state nursing program upon graduation.
- $ 60 million in additional financial assistance for South Carolina residents eligible for federal Pell Grants and attending a state public college, university, or technical college. Students at private, independent and historically black colleges and universities would receive an additional $ 20 million for scholarships and tuition assistance.
- $ 124 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand the state’s Future Workforce Scholarships, a program that allows residents to graduate from the industry or an associate’s degree in “high-demand careers such as manufacturing, healthcare, IT, information technology, transportation, logistics or construction.”
However, the key element of the higher education budget recommended by McMaster is that, for the third year in a row, he proposed that “the General Assembly freeze tuition fees for students in the state”. In return, he recommends an increase in credits of $ 20.1 million to public institutions, which is equivalent to the 2.7% increase in the higher education price index (HEPI) last year. .
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s 2022-2023 budget recommendation includes an additional $ 45.7 million for public universities in the state. This increase, which would restore institutional funding to pre-pandemic levels, would be linked to the requirement that institutions freeze tuition fees at their approved rates for fiscal year 2022.
Cheryl Harrison-Lee, president of the Kansas Board of Regents, called Kelly’s proposal “a pivotal moment for higher education in Kansas.”
Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott said: “In my 13 years as President of Pittsburg State University, we have never had a set of investments also daring in our work. “
With record reserves in state coffers, Kelly also recommended millions in new funding for need-based financial aid, special scholarships, and community colleges. She also wants to add capital funding for maintenance, new facilities and improved technology in public institutions, describing these dollars as an investment to increase the state’s economic competitiveness.
Action now turns to state legislatures as they begin to hold budget hearings on their governors’ proposals ahead of final votes later this spring. Advocates for higher education in Kansas may have the steepest slope to climb with lawmakers. Kelly, a Democrat, faces an uphill battle for re-election in conservative Kansas, where she will likely face Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt.