Tomblin Approves $7 Million in Higher Education Cuts
Charleston Gazette - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the 2015-16 state budget bill Monday evening, but not before cutting roughly $2.8 million more from higher education than legislators had approved. Read
That's according to a review by Sean O'Leary, policy analyst for the nonprofit West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, who said the Democratic governor made changes before approving the budget that will result in a more than $7 million cut to the state's two-year and four-year college and university systems.
That's down from the $12 million slash Tomblin proposed in January, but up from the $4.6 million the Republican-controlled Legislature instead suggested cutting when it passed the 2015-16 budget bill last week.
The cut is the third in three years for higher education — there was a 3 percent cut this fiscal year and a 9 percent cut in 2013-14 — but the leaders of the state Higher Education Policy Commission, which oversees four-year colleges, and the Community and Technical College System, which oversees two-year institutions, said the funding decreases to their systems are under 1 percent.