College Funding News
House speaker pitches $84M in mostly one-time funding for higher ed
ouse Speaker Jill Krowinski, D-Burlington, announced an $84 million higher education package late Tuesday. Funded in large part using a flood of new federal cash flowing into the state, the plan would send Vermont’s ailing public college system $66.5 million in additional aid, though nearly all of the money would consist of one-time funds.
The proposal “stabilizes our higher education system and provides opportunities to Vermonters to further their career or begin the journey toward new employment,” Krowinski said in a statement.
“We need to commit to policies and initiatives that work toward the long-term recovery of Vermont, and this is one way we can help working families and our business community come back stronger than ever,” she added.
First, though, the speaker’s plan would need to be approved by the House and Senate — and signed into law by Republican Gov. Phil Scott.
A total of $7.2 million in one-time funds would go to the University of Vermont, including $3 million for Covid-19 research. And the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, a public nonprofit that administers scholarships and student loans, would receive $8.1 million over three years to spend on grants and scholarships for Vermonters.
But the bulk of the package would head to the Vermont State Colleges System, which includes the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, Vermont Technical College and Castleton University. The four schools have set out on a system-wide overhaul in a bid to stay afloat, and Krowinski’s plan would send the system $20 million over four years to spend on transition costs.
The schools would also get $20.5 million to go toward workforce development initiatives in critical shortage areas over the next three to four years and $21 million in one-time money for operating costs.