HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Senate has approved funding and additional transparency requirements for state universities, which include Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, Lincoln University, and Penn College of Technology.
The bill passed Wednesday would supply Penn State, Pitt, and Temple with funding matching last year’s levels. Lincoln and Penn College of Technology would receive increases of $3,235,000.
Funding in the bill, which passed 45-5, is directed to provide tuition discounts for in-state students.
A second bill, which passed unanimously, that’s part of the university package would require transparency from state universities that includes providing additional information in their annual Right-to-Know filings, including information related to contracts, financial statements, faculty, compensation, enrollment, courses, and meeting minutes.
The bills will go back to the House Rules Committee for review after a change was made after the House previously voted to approve them.
“Many of us disagree with some of the actions at the state-related universities,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward. “However, this funding benefits students and families directly by reducing in-state tuition and we need to assist them.”
“This is a consensus product, and I am pleased the governor has committed in writing to sign both pieces of legislation we have advanced. The investment we are making will support students and prepare our workforce for tomorrow, while at the same time will bring greater transparency to our state-related universities,” Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman said. “Be assured our work to implement greater transparency does not end here. We will continue to push for more clarity when providing appropriations for next year as well.”
“As an obligation to taxpayers whose money we are investing, our primary goal in funding higher education should be to give an opportunity for students to further their education, job skills, and credentialing to graduate and move on to family-sustaining careers and financial success, preferably in Pennsylvania, and meet workforce needs in our Commonwealth. We must continue to move closer to a performance-based model that meets that goal, while also finding ways we can be more attractive to potential students from other states to make Pennsylvania their home. That is the best way we can reverse the troubling economic and demographic trends we’ve seen in recent years and encourage more graduates to get jobs here, start families here, and build their lives here,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Scott Martin said.