The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, June 12, 2020 1:00 am

State to cut $103 million for higher education

CARES Act money will offset some of colleges' losses

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – State budget officials this week ordered $103 million in cuts to higher education funding as the latest response to a drop in tax revenues.

The cut equals about 7% of the $1.7 billion appropriation for state education institutions' operating and line item funding. Some capital and fee replacement funding won't be affected. 

The State Budget Committee is expected to weigh in on the reversion at its meeting next week. 

State Budget Director Zac Jackson noted in the memo sent Wednesday that the federal CARES Act allocated money directly to colleges and universities to defray expenses such as lost revenue, technology costs associated with distance education, and grants to students. At least 50% of the funding received by institutions is required to provide direct emergency aid to students.

The State Budget Agency included a table that reflects the remaining 50% retained by each institution.

“The reserve amounts ... when netted against the additional CARES Act federal funding, result in state education institutions as a whole receiving funding in FY21 that is almost equal to the funding received in FY20,” the memo said.

For instance, Indiana University's fiscal year 2021 appropriation was $549 million. After a cut of $38.4 million coupled with a federal injection of $30 million it means IU will be $508,200 short of funding from the current fiscal year ending in June.

Purdue University's net cut is $3.2 million; Ball State University is $314,566; and Vincennes University is $448,973.

Ivy Tech Community College, University of Southern Indiana and Indiana State University are ahead when counting the federal dollars. But those dollars are restricted in use.

A statement from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education said a reduction in the higher education budget isn't unexpected in light of the ongoing pandemic.

“These cuts will require institutions to significantly adjust operations and services, and Indiana's institutions have been developing contingency plans over the past several months in effort to prepare for a variety of scenarios,” the statement said. “At the same time, these cuts will not impact student financial aid, which is important to ensure college affordability for all Hoosiers in a time when there will most likely be increased financial need for students and families.”

nkelly@jg.net


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