Thursday, September 21, 2000

Regents' OK expected on $6B budget

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Ohio Board of Regents will likely pass a proposed two-year, $6 billion budget for the state's higher education system when it meets today at the College of Mount St. Joseph.

        But that budget — as much as 16 percent more than the current one — might have a hard time making it past the General Assembly.

        Legislators are trying to determine how to pay for public schools after the state's K-12 funding formula was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court earlier this year. One solution that has been discussed has been cutting the university budget.

        The 11-member board of regents, which oversees the state's 38 schools, meets at at 1:30 p.m., with Mr. Chu to present the recommended budget, which would run from July 2001 through June 2003.

        Mr. Chu stresses that the new funds are necessary to upgrade the state university system to keep pace with other states, which have focused on new technology and have become focal points in the nation's thriving economy.

        He also said a major portion of the increase would be devoted to revamping the university system's teacher preparation programs to aid in the K-12 dilemma.

        “We can have an impact on the future of this state at all levels — educationally, economically and socially,” Mr. Chu said.


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