"Patrick looks to slash UMass fee increase with stimulus money" by Matt Viser and Peter Schworm, Globe Staff | March 24, 2009
University of Massachusetts students would avoid most of a planned $1,500 fee hike under a proposal Governor Deval Patrick is expected to unveil today to distribute $162 million in federal stimulus money among the state's public colleges and universities, two administration officials said.
The measure would provide partial relief for middle-class families and working students at a time when, because of the national recession, they are flocking to public institutions because of lower costs. About half of the money, $82 million, would go to the University of Massachusetts system and allow officials to soften the fee hikes that were set to go into effect in the next academic year. Instead of $1,500, they might rise by as little as $380, a UMass official said.
Yup, FEES will still go up while TOP BRASS are pulling down SIX FIGURE SALARIES -- or WORSE!!!!
The money will also help prevent some faculty layoffs and program cuts, returning state colleges and universities to the same level of funding they had at the beginning of this fiscal year, before the governor made several rounds of budget cuts....
Yup, TRILLIONS for WARS and BANKS, but....
The education spending included in the federal stimulus package is targeted at protecting current services, not stimulating the economy through construction and tax breaks.
But education advocates and administration officials say the money could also help the economy because it will prevent layoffs and put more money in the hands of families and students, who could spend that money in other areas....
But they will STILL be PAYING INCREASED FEES!!! How come its okay to dole out money when the pro-richer paper says so, but God help you if you are going to give it through government welfare like health care.
Oh, yeah, and we will be getting TAX INCREASES, too!!!! WTF?
"It should be enough to substantially reduce the fee increase," a University of Massachusetts official said. The money should also allow the university, which has shed about 250 positions to offset sharp cuts in state support this academic year, to avoid more layoffs, the official said.
But the official cautioned against seeing the influx as a panacea. "It's only in this context that level-funding sounds good," the official said. "It still puts us in a precarious financial situation."
How come they didn't identify the person?
Maybe they could get some of the dough from Jack Wilson, huh?
And talk about repetitive items filling up my paper:
"Patrick pushes his $162m relief plan for colleges" by Peter Schworm, Globe Staff | March 25, 2009
Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday that a $162 million infusion of federal funds to cash-strapped public colleges and universities will help soften the blow of the economic downturn.
Speaking at a news conference at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Patrick said he hopes the federal stimulus money will offset steep budget cuts he had proposed for the next fiscal year. If lawmakers agree to his new plan, it will allow community and state colleges and universities to curb projected fee increases, welcome news for families struggling in the recession who are drawn to the public institutions for the lower costs.
"That means holding it together while we get through to better times," he said to loud applause at the university's campus center. The proposal, reported by the Globe yesterday, would allow UMass undergraduates to avoid most of a controversial $1,500 yearly fee increase. Instead, students would probably see their fees rise by less than $400, a 4 percent increase.
The 15 percent fee increase, the largest in several years, would have increased annual costs for in-state undergraduates to an average of $11,000, not including room and board.
See: UMass Omissions
Under Patrick's plan, about half the federal money would flow to the five-campus UMass system and half to the 24 community and state colleges. The funds would restore college and university budgets to last year's levels, before Patrick made several rounds of spending cuts, and would minimize additional faculty layoffs. Patrick's plan requires legislative support....
Patrick also said yesterday the stimulus package boosts the maximum federal Pell Grant from $4,700 to $5,350 and will allow 85,000 additional low-income students to receive grants. The state will also receive $9 million for college work-study programs.
All told, the state expects to receive $819 million in federal money to spend on public education over the next 27 months. Patrick previously announced he wants to allocate $168 million to local school districts that would otherwise fall below state-mandated funding levels. Overall, Massachusetts is expected to receive up to $9 billion in spending and tax cuts from the federal government.
They said we were going to get $12 billion when they were selling the thing to us. Now we find out its only 9? I guess I should stop complaining and be grateful, right?
Grateful that the government borrowed the money so taxpayers will have to pay interest on it? Grateful when the trillion dollar bank bailouts and wars go on and on when services are still being slashed to ribbons?
Still, Patrick said the federal money does not eliminate the need for belt-tightening.
"It's not going to let us off the hook on all the tough decisions we must make," he said....
You can START HERE, guv, and GET OUR TAX MONEY BACK!