Higher Ed Gets Back $100 million
Last week, Gov. DeWine announced the restoration of $100 million in cuts that he had made to higher education in the last calendar year. Between Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, the cuts amounted to a $164 million reduction in State Share of Instruction (SSI).
DeWine credited better-than-expected tax receipts for the reinstatement of this funding, which is desperately needed as many of Ohio’s public colleges and universities are still reeling from revenue losses on account of COVID and other issues.
Between this funding and federal relief, institutions are in a much stronger position to weather the short-term financial storm that the pandemic has caused. Administrations should reconsider program and faculty reductions that already have occurred or are currently on the table.
State Budget Preview
At the beginning of February, Gov. DeWine and his team at the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) will release his executive proposal for the next biennial state budget, which will allocate resources for Fiscal Years 2022-2023.
Last week, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) submitted two budget scenarios to OBM for consideration. The first scenario represented ODHE taking a significant cut, which would result in about a 10% reduction to SSI. The second scenario involves a funding increase of almost 3%.
With tax receipts continuing to be stronger than anticipated, we are hopeful that the governor chooses the latter scenario as part of his executive budget, and we will strongly advocate to the legislature that far more resources are needed beyond that if we are going to maintain excellence at our public colleges and universities.
Beyond funding, we again will talk to legislators about issues with the College Credit Plus (CCP) program, as well as management of our institutions, including spending priorities by administrations.