(WHTM) — Budget season has begun in Harrisburg and budget hearings are underway.
Four state universities — Pennsylvania State University, Pitt University, Temple University, and Lincoln University — insisted on Tuesday that they should step up their funding next year as they struggle with student debt.
In higher education in Pennsylvania, state-affiliated colleges that are not state colleges are an oddity. Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University all fall into this category.
Four school leaders came to the hearing asking for more money, but they also had questions from lawmakers.
“We need to provide a living wage for our employees, especially part-time teachers,” said Rep. Abigail Salisbury (D-Allegheny County).
Together, the four schools earned $600 million this fiscal year.
Specifically, Penn State will receive $269 million this fiscal year, Pitt will receive $155 million, Temple will receive $158 million, Lincoln will receive $15 million, and Gov. We are asking for a 7% increase.
The school says its top priority is for students to complete their degrees in four years.
Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette County) asked leaders, “If you receive a 7% increase, will you commit to a tuition freeze?”
All four said no.
“I think for a lot of students, it’s really scary and scary. For many parents of children, it’s scary to think that this is an impending college problem.”
However, all leaders said they were working to help financially distressed students.
University of Pittsburgh President Patrick Gallagher said:
Temple University President Jason Wingard said: “We are providing more mental health resources because it takes time out of school to deal with the pressure and anxiety, but it takes time.”
“When you hit first grade, the tuition is frozen. Tuition for that year remains the same for four years. added Brenda Allen, president of Lincoln University.
Helping students get into and transfer to community colleges keeps costs down, but the transition isn’t as easy as it should be.
“This is what we have to do. This is not a good thing. It is what we have to do.”
Demanding more money is fine, but lawmakers like Thomas Kutz (R-Cumberland County) want schools to charge students less.
“The growing crisis on student debt that we are facing. We need a four-year degree and a way to avoid running into six-figure debt for a job that doesn’t help cover debt and rent payments.” ‘ said Kutz.
One lawmaker asked Vendapdi about the labor and financial costs of expanding the Big Ten to include USC and UCLA, and she voted in favor.
Rep. John Lawrence (R-Chester County) said:
“Pennsylvania State University is one of the few large track and field departments that is completely self-sufficient,” said Vendapdi.
One lawmaker said public-affiliated schools are exempt from the Right to Know Act and cannot provide additional funding if salary information is not available from the school.
And it’s not just an academic issue.
Wingard said he is very concerned about what he calls the gun violence crisis in Philadelphia.
https://www.wtaj.com/news/regional-news/hearing-on-funding-for-state-related-universities-held-at-state-capitol/ State-affiliated college funding hearing held at the State Capitol