News: Quick Takes

Higher-ed priorities in House budget include tuition assistance, help for military families

(CJ Photo by Kari Travis)
(CJ Photo by Kari Travis)

Under the House General Fund budget for the University of North Carolina, the system would get a spending increase of $57 million over last year, bringing the budget up to $3.1 billion for the 17 campus system in 2019-20.

A large chunk of money, $35 million recurring for 2019-20 and 2020-21, would be put toward tuition assistance for summer coursework. Another $33.6 million is allocated to support UNC’s enrollment growth in 2020-21. The state also is prioritizing data analytics for the system, and has provided a small increase in funding for faculty recruitment and retention.

Notable policy changes include a tuition waiver for dependents of fallen correctional officers. The waiver applies to all community colleges, as well as all institutions within the UNC System.

Among other highlights:

Enrollment growth adjustments: Provides $33.6 million recurring for 2020-21 for estimated enrollment growth in the UNC System.

Summer school funding: $35 million recurring to reduce the cost of tuition for summer courses. The money is designed to boost use of facilities and increase degree completion rates and accelerated learning.

Faculty recruitment and retention: Increases of $1 million recurring in 2019-20 for a revised net appropriation of $14.5 million, and $3 million recurring in 2020-21 for a revised net appropriation of $16.5 million.

UNC teacher and principal preparation program for lab schools: $500,000 recurring to provide administrative and technical assistance for UNC’s Lab School Program. Money would go toward counseling and support services, and would provide start-up assistance for a new lab school at UNC Charlotte.

Additional money for Western School of Medicine: $4.8 million recurring in extra money for the Asheville campus, a joint program between the UNC School of Medicine and other UNC schools. The revised net appropriation is $15.4 million.

Patriot Foundation scholarship fund: Earmarks $500,000 recurring for the Patriot Foundation to establish a college scholarship for children and spouses of active-duty members of the armed forces.