PASSHE Asks for a $38 Million Budget Increase for 2024–2025

Pennsylvania is one of the ten states with the highest tuition rates for public universities.

A plan to invest in the Commonwealth’s universities has been presented by Governor Josh Shapiro, but lawmakers are still awaiting further information as they continue to review the budget.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) chancellor responded to inquiries this week on the organization’s plea for an extra $38 million in the next budget.

In fact, that would enable us to maintain the tuition freeze for a sixth year in a row. Therefore, not a reduction,” stated Dan Knorr, the PASSHE school’s executive director of external affairs at Commonwealth University. In particular, when actual inflation is taken into account, the affordability curve is beginning to veer in the correct direction.

Shapiro seeks to increase funding for higher education by more than $200 million, with an emphasis on affordability.

However, he also wants to create a statewide system that would include all 15 of Pennsylvania’s community colleges and PASSHE, which has 14 campuses.

During this week’s budget hearings, lawmakers were hoping to gain more information on the merger.

That was not the case.

The head of the House Appropriations committee, Rep. Jordan Harris (D-186), stated, “While the chancellor had some answers, he didn’t have all of them, and I know that we’re going to be looking forward to talking with the Department of Education.” “Who is spearheading the initiative to design this redesign for higher education?”

The appropriations committee member Rep. Clint Owlett (R-68) expressed worry over the lack of information. It may be decided to vote on this in a few months. However, language is necessary to fully understand that, and it was not available to us today.

Legislators inquired about the state of PASSHE schools at the moment in addition to the scant details regarding redesign plans.

PennWest and Commonwealth University, the organization’s two integration projects, were updated on by Chancellor Daniel Greenstein. He pointed out that while PennWest is still trailing behind in luring new students, Commonwealth University has experienced a minor increase in new student enrollments.

Lawmakers were also interested in the allocation of funds.

“We also have to make sure that we’re training our young people in fields of tomorrow, and not of yesterday,” Harris added. “We need to ensure that the careers we are preparing them for are in great demand in the commonwealth, and to be really honest, we need to create an environment in Pennsylvania that will entice young people to stay,”

Next week, community colleges will testify before lawmakers as part of ongoing budget hearings.

By Caleb Anderson

Caleb, a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling, has dedicated his career to bringing the latest news to the public. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to unbiased reporting, He navigates the dynamic world of journalism, covering a wide range of topics from local events to global issues. Caleb's insightful articles reflect his dedication to keeping readers informed and engaged in the ever-evolving landscape of news.

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