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Higher Education Takes Funding Hit In Corbett’s Budget

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA) Brenda Waters
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Another rounds of cuts for higher education but public education, it seems has been spared the hard financial hits of last year’s state budget.

Getting a college degree is more difficult than ever. In his 2012-13 state budget address, Governor Tom Corbett says state schools face a 20 percent cut in funding.

Three universities face a 30 percent cut – Penn State, Temple and the University of Pittsburgh.

“In terms of proportionality, perhaps nothing is more telling than the proposed general fund budget’s bottom line,” Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said in a statement. “Overall state funding would be reduced by less than one-tenth of one percent or $22.456 million. The cuts proposed just for Pitt are more than double that amount.”

Word of this did not go over well with some of the students who anticipate a tuition hike with the cuts.

Curran Dougherty, a freshman from Philadelphia, told Brenda Waters he did not work this year, but he will probably get a job because his parents cannot afford to pay his tuition by themselves.

Charles Weisz, a freshman from New Castle says if tuition does go up because of the funding cuts, tuition will amount to more money that he doesn’t have.

The news was somewhat better for public education. Dr. Dan Castagna, the superintendent of the West Mifflin School District listened to the governor’s address with staff members.

He was encouraged in hearing that there would be a slight increase in basic funding but told KDKA’s Brenda Waters last year’s $860 million cut in public education left his district and others learning how to operate with less.

West Mifflin laid off 45 staff members including 24 full-time teachers.

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