Uncategorized

Senate Budget Presents Changes to UNC System Funding Over House Proposal

In a now commonplace event in terms of budget proposals, the Senate has put forward a proposal that is slightly better for the UNC system than the House Budget.  State investments in educating our future workforce and leaders would still be 11 percent below pre-recession levels though at a time when projected demand for North Carolinians with bachelor’s degrees will increase significantly.

The two big differences, and perhaps most important areas of the UNC budget for expanding opportunity, were in enrollment funding and need-based aid.  The Senate would increase funding for enrollment growth by $1.3 million sufficient to cover the 780 students that enrollment is projected to grow by over last year’s estimates.  This enrollment growth was not fully funded in the House proposal. 

The UNC need-based grant program will see $35 million restored from last year’s cut with lottery funds rather than a state appropriation.  This is an important investment to make at a time when tuition is increasing significantly and families are struggling to make ends meet.  However, given that the source of funds is lottery dollars it is unclear if this represents an ongoing commitment to keep university affordable for low-income students.

Another area of major difference from the House budget is the allocation of $8 million ($6 million of which is recurring) to building reserves which will provide for the operation and maintenance of new or renovated UNC buildings.

One special provision is of particular note.  It would have the Fiscal Research Division study the tuition surcharge mandated last year and its effect on student’s achievement and graduation.  The tuition surcharge represents a 50% increase for students who fail or do not drop a course and take more than 110% of the credit hours necessary to achieve a baccalaureate degree.  Understanding the impact of this financial cost to student completion will be important to determining whether such punitive measures can support students success.

Check Also

Limits on income tax will put immediate pressure on policymakers to raise other taxes

The income tax cap being considered by the ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

GOP lawmakers want North Carolinians to make sweeping, permanent changes to the state Constitution a [...]

The lump started small and hid behind her ear. Harmless, the doctor said, nothing to worry about. So [...]

The Senate voted along party lines Tuesday night to overturn a partial judicial redistricting bill i [...]

Viola Williams has been crunching numbers and working out possible solutions since last week, when t [...]

From 1999-2016, opioid-related overdose fatalities increased by more than 800 percent in North Carol [...]

Would that North Carolina lawmakers had been so direct as “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, a virulent white [...]

“I’m speechless.” So began the heartfelt lament of Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) late last Friday afte [...]

The post SB 711 – The pig’s roast appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]