Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News Resources
on the Web

5 May 2008
Higher Education Partnership Press Release

Press releases are sent to media when the Partnership feels that it is important to notify the general public of higher education events and issues.  See Partnership Update.

Higher Education Partnership Update on Budget

Contact Your Senator Avoid Punitive Budgeting!


The House of Representatives passed their version of the 2009 Education Trust Fund (ETF) Budget on Thursday, May 1. This budget did show a $25 million improvement in the amount of funding provided to the state’s public universities. However, the total university funding recommendation remains more than $160 million short of last year’s appropriation. With the budget moving to the Alabama Senate, the TIME IS NOW for UNIVERSITY SUPPORTERS to remind their Senator that more improvement is necessary.

The Higher Education Partnership asks you to not delay. The universities have a simple request. Add $25 million additional to the overall university appropriation. Yes, the public universities have friends in the Alabama Senate and we need to let them know that they are needed. All university supporters should grab their cell phone and dial the numbers listed in the chart. Be nice but firm! Tell the story as personally a you can. Let the Senators know the danger of a huge budget cut.


Examples of the Danger of the Big Cut:


1) The university community should not be separated from our friends in K-12. The state’s public K-12 schools have over 50,000 teachers. Every teacher is responsible for the instruction of the students in their class. Each of these teachers is required to have four-years or more of formal education at the university level. The public universities graduate the bulk of the K-12 teachers. Every public university has a vital role in developing the next generation of instructors for K-12. A bad budget for universities has a direct correlation to its ability to provide the training needed to insure that the teachers of tomorrow are prepared.


2) Alabama should have a budget that recognizes the value of universities to the state. Alabama’s public universities are employers of more than 65,000 people and they produce more than $8 billion in annual economic return.

Further, university experts are critical to economic development on both the small business level and in the international sector. The Small Business Development Centers located on the university campuses are huge contributors to regional business success. Plus, the Alabama Development Office engages university faculty in most of their big economic development projects. Great faculty are essential to this success. When university funding is no longer competitive, the most immediate loss is the ability to recruit and retain great faculty...this hurts business!


3) Tuition is an important part of funding the operations of the four-year colleges. Similarly, K-12 education depends on local tax support that comes from both counties and municipalities. Both K-12 and universities have sources of other revenue.


In the university case, tuition increases in high double digit proportions are what would be required to offset a 14 percent funding reduction. K-12 arguably could more easily adjust to the 3 percent cuts. While it is a important to understand that neither reduction is desired, the problem is the inequity of a 3 percent (K-12) cut compared to a 14 percent (university) reduction. 


Tuition that is too high is punitive to the students and families in Alabama. It will drive people away from the educational opportunities that add great value to their lives. Equitable funding will prevent this problem.


Senators Make A Better Choice! Consider a family with two children suffering from the flu, you treat them both. You don’t give a full dose of medicine to one and a partial dose to the other. In this case, the Senate can make sure that both children are treated. Add another $25 million to what the House appropriated!


For a listing of Alabama State senators, see the Alabama State Senators Roster at

Higher Education Partnership

P.O. Box 761, Montgomery, AL 36104



Gordon Stone, Executive Director - Higher Education Partnership

Phone: 334/220-2161   Fax: 334/832-9995

Visit Alabama's Higher Education Partnership Website:

Submit items for news releases by using the request form at