State Rewards Pa. System for Efforts to Remake Itself

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The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has undertaken a multiyear restructuring effort that has included consolidation of six institutions—and state officials are rewarding it with its biggest budget increase ever.

Governor Tom Wolf signed a fiscal 2023 state budget late last week that would increase the university system’s budget to $552.5 million, a $75 million increase from the $477.5 million it received in 2021–22. Among other things, the funding will allow the system’s universities to freeze tuition for a fourth straight year.

The budget legislation also provides $125 million in one-time funds from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan to support PASSHE’s multiyear effort to remake its 14 campuses into a more holistic statewide system.

“This unprecedented additional funding recognizes that state system universities have kept their promises to the state with a redesign that is delivering positive results for our commonwealth and more opportunities for our students,” said Cynthia Shapira, chair of the system’s Board of Governors. “The renewed strength of our partnership with state leaders and all Pennsylvanians is the result of deliberate, intentional and hard-won efforts by our faculty, staff and students.”

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