JACKSONVILLE -- April 18, 2001 --
The following press release was issued today by the Higher Education
after the Siegelman administration resurfaced the proposal to use bond money
to ease higher education's share of pro-ration.
As has occurred numerous times during this legislative session, the higher education community is asking for attention to be placed on fair treatment in the 2001 budget. Since the end of the Special Session of the legislature, the university community has been meeting with delegations of leaders from K-12, the legislature, these many weeks.
However, today they seem to have broken down over one simple principle. The universities WILL NOT ACCEPT SECOND CLASS STATUS for our students, faculty and staff. Alabama's public universities are the key to the economic future of this state and the university leaders are determined not to forfeit the future for a short-term, ill-advised proposal.
The proposals that have been outlined by the administration call for the universities to accept a bond issue for daily operations that is bad public policy. It is like buying groceries on a credit card. Sooner or later, you will have to pay the bill.
During these negotiations the university position has been consistent: EQUAL TREATMENT for all public education. The equal treatment position is based on today and tomorrow.
The Siegelman Administration has refused to listen to any proposal that cuts both higher education and K-12 evenly. The administration has stated that they are planning to implement proration based on the Attorney General's opinion. This is not a requirement. If they implement disproportionate cuts based on the Attorney General's Opinion, this will mean even greater losses to the university communities and will hurt our faculty, staff, and students.
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