Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Friday, March 28, 2008
Budget Negotiations at Critical Point
A critical period in the budget process is unfolding now, with a great deal on the line each day. This is fast becoming one of the deepest fiscal crises we have seen in many a year, and as other areas of the budget are also hurting, education funding becomes even more vulnerable.
Yesterday's News & Notes bulletin provided a funding overview, but with the Senate's budget proposal now available, below is the latest and most thorough update.
- The House budget announced this week contains a 2.2% reduction in current funding (above this year's 4% reduction), and eliminates almost all non-recurring funds such as Succeed and matching grants). It rolls everything else (Performance Based Budgeting, lottery and more) into the Community College Program Fund (CCPF). While the cut to community colleges was the least of all the education sectors, it remains a significant reduction.
- The Senate budget came out yesterday (Thursday) and goes deeper. It contains a 5.16 percent reduction and like the House, rolls dollars into the CCPF and eliminates the non-recurring funds.
- Both the House and the Senate add some non-recurring money back into the CCPF. Overall for community colleges, the Senate cuts are about $15.9 million deeper than the House.
- Both the House and Senate budget proposals contain a 6% tuition increase.
- Both the House and the Senate are considering a Technology Fee and Distance Learning fee that both tout as "budget increases."
- Baccalaureate degree program funding is cut, and any additional funding for new baccalaureate programs is on hold.
- Matching funds for Philip Benjamin and state university grants are zeroed out in the present proposal.
- The semifinal PECO list is out. MDC received some cuts in projects for ’08-‘09 and funds next year are expected to equal about one-third of what is available for this year.
- Funding for Bright Futures is increased by $58.4 million, covering workload and tuition increases.
- Funds for the private colleges are reduced by 6.1 percent.
- The Florida Student Assistance Grants (FSAG) is covered, but Student Financial Aid (general) is reduced by 3 percent.
- Funds for the Board of Governors are reduced by 10 percent.
Both the House and Senate budget proposals go to the full appropriations committees next week for the amendatory process. This will be a difficult process, because serious problems in the health care areas could generate attempts to raid the various education budgets.