How can we have a $1,000 per semester tuition when the PASSHE system is asking for more money? 

February 22 — Two interesting financial aspects have come out of Pennsylvania recently. 

First, Governor Josh Shapiro would like to see college tuition in the state be $1,000 per semester — or the cost of a new cell phone. That was part of next year’s budget rollout from a few weeks ago. 

At the same time, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is asking for a 6% increase to their budget, to the tune of more than $30 million for their funding. 

Somehow the numbers aren’t adding up here. 

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “It’s interesting because I’m wondering if he’s (Shapiro’s) had this conversation with PASSHE, with his $1,000 per semester deal and PASSHE asked him for 38 million more like, okay, who’s on first here and are we collaborating on higher education policy in Pennsylvania.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM agreed, “Who’s who’s not talking to who?”

Kauffman said, “It’s pretty odd because results, that is what we want to see in education at every level from kindergarten through higher education is results based budgeting, really, I mean, that’s what we’re looking at. You give us results in Pennsylvania and that’s where the funding flows to those results because we can no longer be producing, I mean, I hate to say it, but dead weight in higher education. We don’t need more people with sociology degrees.”

There was also a headline a few days ago that insisted the schools are literally crumbling in infrastructure. 

Ryan said, “I don’t understand how they could be crumbling. You are flush with cash. There’s COVID money all over the place. They’ve got bank accounts filled to the top with money here. How is this possible? Who’s running the show?”

Kauffman suggested, “I think I think they’re being a bit dramatic. I mean, very frankly, they want to flood more money to Philadelphia schools that are quote, “crumbling”. I don’t know how they’re crumbling, why they’re crumbling. I was at Grandview elementary school. I was talking to school board members. I was talking to teachers and kids at Grandview Elementary. It was built I think it was like 1952. It’s still being used and it’s being used well. So is that crumbling because it is 75 years old? That’s what I want to know. Is it just crumbling quote, “crumbling” because it’s an older school? So I don’t know what crumbling infrastructure in our schools actually means.”