State aid reductions leave state schools suffering

August 19, 2011

From “State aid reductions leave Wisconsin schools suffering to different degrees” — Rigorous belt-tightening is becoming the mantra at college and universities in Wisconsin and nationwide as states struggle to overcome staggering deficits.

Gov. Scott Walker’s aggressive two-year budget plan will reduce the University of Wisconsin System’s budget by $250. UW-Superior’s share exceeded $3 million, according to State Rep. Nick Milroy.

The state’s technical college system, meanwhile, lost 30 percent of its funding, said State Sen. Bob Jauch.

“I don’t even know how they’ll keep their doors open,” Milroy said.

In northern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College system won’t be hit quite as hard as other campuses. Still, it will lose about $1.4 million in funding, CFO Steve Decker told BusinessNorth.

“We’ve eliminated six-and-a-half positions” spread across the system’s four campuses and four outreach centers, he said, which includes some through retirements. “Without filling those positions, we’ve had to eliminate some courses at some campuses,” he said.

The funding reduction comes at a time when area employers need more welders and nurses – but the WITC system can’t educate students fast enough to meet demand.

“We’ve always had waiting lists,” Decker said, “but with the budget cuts, those lists probably will get longer.”

Jauch said the administration refused to target funding specifically for those high-demand programs despite the documented need.

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