Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Lawmakers Weigh Proposal For Boosting State Higher Ed Funding

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    The campus of Indiana University East / Ivy Tech Community College / Purdue University College of Technology in Richmond.

    State higher ed officials want the state to increase its financial support of colleges and universities as a way to help keep tuition increases down, as we noted last week.

    Officials from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education presented that recommendation to the state budget committee Monday, as IPBS statehouse reporter Brandon Smith reports:

    The Commission’s recommendation, presented to the State Budget Committee Monday, calls for $255 million for higher education funding in the next state budget, a 7.5 percent increase over the previous two years. 

    Budget committee member Rep. Terry Goodin, D-Austin, says spending more on higher ed should keep tuition increases down.

    “In the last several years with the increases in the tuition that’s been taken on by the universities, they’ve been very clear on why they were increasing the tuitions — it’s because the state had been cutting back on their funding.”

    House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says as the legislature sorts through how to spend the state’s money, higher education funding is key.

    “We’re wanting to look at an educated workforce,” Brown, a Crawfordsville Republican. “We know an educated workforce is more engaged.  There’s lots of positive benefits economically and socially to an educated workforce.”

    The Commission’s budget commendations are paired with a call for colleges and universities to keep tuition increases at or below growth of the Consumer Price Index. That means tuition would grow at approximately the same rate as, for instance, the cost of milk and bread…

    Lawmakers say higher ed funding will be a high priority in the upcoming budget session of the Indiana General Assembly.

    As we reported last week, the state’s public universities welcomed the commission’s recommendation.

    “Indiana University also remains acutely aware of the challenging financial climate facing many of our current and prospective students and their families,” IU spokesperson Mark Land toldStateImpact in a statement, “and the commission’s goals of keeping tuition as affordable as possible is certainly shared by IU.”


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