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Top Republican Wants To Restore Funding To Higher Education

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A key state Senator says he wants to eliminate all of the cuts for higher education that Governor Tom Corbett has proposed in his new budget.

Last year, state lawmakers were able to reduce but not eliminate the steep cuts in state funding Governor Corbett proposed for higher education.

This year, the governor has proposed another round of cuts for community colleges, state-owned universities and three state-related universities: Temple, Penn State and Pitt. And this year, Republican Jake Corman – the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee whose district includes Penn State – says he wants to wipe out all of the proposed cuts.

Reporter: “Are you talking about trying to restore all that funding?”
Corman: “Yes.”
Reporter: “…to all of those schools?”
Corman: “Yes.”
Reporter: “How realistic is that?”
Corman: “I think it’s very realistic. I mean, look, it’s a matter of what our priorities are. We’ll go down through the budget. Obviously, it’s going to be a challenge. It’s not a great budget year. But, that’s my goal.”

Corman, who says higher education has done enough to help balance the state budget, thinks there’s a better chance this year to eliminate all of the cuts that have been proposed.

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  • John Malverne

    Why should the taxdpayers be subsidizing anyone’s college education? Subsidies just make it more expensive anyway.

    If I’m selling something, and I know the average person will pay $10 for my widget, I’ll find a way to price it around $10. But if I know the average person has $10 plus a government loan for another $20 at their disposal, then I price my widgets at $30.

    This is nothing more than welfare for academia. Make them complete in the open market, like everyone else.

    • Robert Hass

      Actually, sir, your simplistic scenario simply doesn’t doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons.. If the state were to eliminate funding for higher education, tuition costs would rise an average of 16,000 more per year to the 31K private colleges currently charge their students. Such an increase would eliminate a college education for a majority of Pennsylvanians. Second, anyone who cares to investigate the actual math behind public education would learn that the state receives nearly six dollars in return for every dollar it invests in a student. The idea that access to college is “welfare” is an empty slogan perpetuated by right wing ideologues who seek to privatize all public institutions. Funding for higher education is an INVESTMENT that pays back Pennsylvanians handsomely.

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