Corbett To Announce Higher Education Funding In Budget Discussion

Centre Daily Times

Gov. Tom Corbett is set to talk about his proposed budget for higher education, including Penn State’s appropriation, during a news conference Friday at the state Capitol.

Last year, Corbett proposed slashing Penn State’s state funding for 2012-13 by 30 percent, but the level was eventually restored to $279 million, what it was in 2011-12. Penn State promised to keep its tuition-rate increases below the inflation index if the state funding was kept flat.

Two years ago, though, Corbett had proposed a devastating blow — a more than 50 percent cut to the university’s state funding. Lawmakers and Corbett agreed to restore funding so that the cut amounted to a 19 percent decrease.

For 2013-14, Penn State has requested $289.5 million from the state.

The request includes a 3.5 percent increase for the university’s educational and general budget plus a $2.4 million increase for agriculture research and cooperative extension.

At the state Farm Show in January, Corbett told public officials that he planned to maintain the same level of funding for agricultural research, which last year was $20.4 million. Penn State is asking for $21.5 million.

Corbett has invited leaders from Penn State and the three other state-related universities, Temple, Pittsburgh and Lincoln, to attend the news conference. State Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, is scheduled to be there as well. Corman is the chairman of the senate’s Appropriations Committee.

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