How could the PASSHE system need an additional $38 million? 

February 21 – The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has asked the state for an additional $38 million for the 2024-2025 fiscal year. 

It’s a 6.5% increase from last year. It would make the total budget $623.7 million. 

There are 14 state schools in the PASSHE system, one of which is Shippensburg University. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “This is ridiculous. Where the heck are the cuts? And how does that lunatic Josh Shapiro think we’re just going to charge people the price of a cell phone per semester?”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll added, “And where are the details in this consolidation plan that he rolled out?”

Enrollment in the schools in the PASSHE system has been steadily declining over the years. 

Barkdoll said, “But the budget keeps expanding. That’s very difficult to reconcile. So they’re not going to get the six and a half percent. I’m sure this is a wish list of sorts. They’re going to start high, hoping they might get 2 or 3%. But I don’t know where this goes because I believe the governor there’s this task force now that I believe involves the General Assembly. They’re supposed to come up with details on what this consolidation plan for PASSHE looks like, which supposedly will streamline PASSHE, save a bunch of money. Part of it is this $1,000 a semester proposal, but there’s never been any details released. Where’s that money coming from? And what is consolidation? Did he literally mean closing campuses, which did happen a few years ago? Or does he simply mean consolidating programs, maybe eliminating majors at some campuses and making them only available then at the other campus as a way to save money, a lot of unknown information there.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “There’s a house bill that I’m understanding is in the federal government right now and it’s the idea that we will hold colleges and I wonder what would happen if they did this double whammy here, $1,000 a semester and we had a federal bill saying that colleges have to pay the portion of the student debt if the degree that’s obtained does not provide employment that would pay back the student loan. I’m not quite sure how they would measure that. But there’s been suggestions like if a person can’t get a job in their field, they give a lot of what a lot of us consider just garbage degrees in disciplines that don’t have a lot of traction for getting a good paying job and yet the student paid as if they were getting a valuable degree. I love the idea of holding them accountable. I mean, to me, if you did $1,000 a semester, and that federal bill, you’d cut out a lot of waste in college pretty darn fast.”

Barkdoll agreed, “I like that idea, too. Remember part of Shapiro’s budget plan is tying those subsidies to Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln, those are the four state related universities, to performance based metrics, which I think is a good idea. But again, there’s no details. Well, what are the performance based metrics? Is it job placement? Is it some other metric? But he’s saying going forward that’s what they’re going to do.”

Reporting overnight has shown that President Joe Biden by way of executive order is forgiving $1.2 billion in federal student loans. 

Barkdoll said, “These are largely loans that students that went to community colleges took out that were under $12,000. But again, with the stroke of a pen, another $1.2 billion is gone.”

Jansen said, “I don’t know how that’s legal.”

Ryan said, “My Independent voters, I mean, you look at these sanctuary cities, and you see the give out $250 million in Chicago, $53 million for illegal aliens in New York City. You see all this money and all this waste, people that signed a piece of paper saying yeah, I’m going to pay it back while you’re out there struggling like a grunt to try to fill up the tank at $3.60 plus a gallon. My Independent voter, I can’t do anything about the Democrats anymore. It’s a lost cause. But you want lower gas prices. You want a secure border, you want parental choice, you want the government to get the hell out of your pocket, you want some accountability, then the choice couldn’t be more clear. And if it’s not right in front of you, I cannot help you at this point.”