President Ann Weaver Hart recently traveled to Harrisburg on Temple’s behalf to ask the state legislature to increase funds to the university. She was met with success.
Gov. Ed Rendell recently announced his revised fiscal year 2010 appropriation of funds for the upcoming school year. The increased budget is funded by the recent stimulus plan. While all state schools were due to receive some amount of monetary support, Rendell campaigned for additional money. His success results in an increase of state funding in the amount of $41 million.
The money is directly funded from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and will go to Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln University and Temple.
While the schools are expected to divide the funds, it has not yet been announced exactly how much of the additional $41 million Temple will receive.
It is also unclear whether all schools will be given equal amounts.
While the additional money comes as a relief, it is also bittersweet news. The funding will only last one year, leaving the future of fiscal year 2011 uncertain.
“This money will help to restore some appropriations cut,” said Eryn Jelesiewicz, Temple’s director of news communications. “It is a one-time, stop-gap measure.”
It will not act to ease the $11.4 million that was withdrawn from the commonwealth during 2009.
The funds act only to ensure that state schools do not fall into deeper debt during fiscal year 2009.
In a letter to the Temple community, Hart warned that it is “not a long-term solution for the funding of state-related universities.”
The president has announced how Temple will utilize the funding. She said the increased budget will “help Temple to keep tuition increases at the lowest possible levels for the next academic year.”
Jelesiewicz supported Hart’s and Temple’s intentions for the money.
“Planning is still in progress as we get more information,” she said. “The money will go to low tuition and financial aid.”
Such news is a relief to many current and prospective students who are concerned about being able to afford increasing tuition. Hart also stated her plans to work to reduce the university’s operations costs.
The increase in the Pennsylvania education budget is directed at helping schools maintain their fiscal year 2008 levels during the upcoming fiscal year 2009.
Due to the ongoing nationwide recession and unsure economic forecast, Rendell is working to ensure some measure of stability for state schools for the next year.
Hart warned about upcoming hardships.
“Going forward, we must prepare for a sustained economic recession,” she wrote in her letter. “I am confident that our continued efforts to control costs and prudently manage our resources will enable Temple to sustain its commitments through the duration of the downturn and emerge stronger in sustained economic recovery.”
Caitlin Berry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.