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
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.
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!
P.O. Box 761,
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Gordon Stone, Executive Director - Higher
Phone: 334/220-2161 Fax: 334/832-9995
Visit Alabama's Higher Education Partnership Website: