Governor Rendell offers stimulus funds for higher education

    By: Scott Detrow

    Governor Rendell says he’ll use federal stimulus money to restore more than 40 million dollars in higher education cuts that he initially proposed in last month’s budget address. The heads of state-related universities say while they appreciate the funding, their institutions still face an up-hill battle.

    By: Scott Detrow

    Governor Rendell says he’ll use federal stimulus money to restore more than 40 million dollars in higher education cuts that he initially proposed in last month’s budget address. The heads of state-related universities say while they appreciate the funding, their institutions still face an up-hill battle as WHYY’s Scott Detrow reports.

    Transcript:
    When the leaders of  Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and Lincoln University sat down before the House Appropriations Committee, they were ready to argue against the cuts Rendell’s budget had laid out.  But then word came that the governor will restore that money with federal stimulus appropriations.  Lincoln University President Ivory Nelson said that was good news, but it won’t solve his school’s financial problems.

    Nelson: “We can appreciate the stimulus package that will help us, but we are not out of the woods by no stretch of the imagination.”

    Penn State president Graham Spanier agrees.

    Spanier: “We are seeing a short-term infusion of funds. But we still have to deal with the long-term funding issues after the stimulus money is gone.”

    Spanier says Penn State’s tuition will still go up between four and a half and five percent next year, if budget appropriations remain level.  He says there’s no way to avoid that, in the current economic climate.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090304rendellcuts.mp3]

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