MONTGOMERY, AL., (WSFA) -- The announcement that the 2009 Education Trust Fund has been prorated by 12.5 percent does have a dramatic impact on public universities. While the governor's decision to access the first half of the rainy day account for $218 million will allow the proration blow to be reduced from 12.5 percent to 9 percent, the cutback will still have a major impact.
Normally, this type of lost revenue will cause institutions to make immediate cuts in operational and maintenance areas. Previous shortfalls have resulted in reduced availability of classes, increased class sizes, elimination of certain types of travel, reduced outreach and public service roles, less opportunity to participate in economic development, etc. For the near-term, it is expected that personnel will not be impacted.
The Higher Education Partnership calls on all of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and other supporters of the universities to "Get Ready." The next legislative session will require all of the institutional supporters to engage.
According to Gordon Stone, Executive Director of the Higher Education Partnership, "Universities understand that the pain of proration impacts all of education. We recognize that it is difficult for K-12, two-year and four-year institutions. However, it is up to all of us to remind the elected officials that divisive policies are a BAD idea. All of education must work together to survive this difficult time." Every voice will be important as the message of equity and fairness is communicated to the legislature and the governor in early 2010."