Gov. John Kasich is set to release his first state budget on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Information about the budget is scarce, but Kasich is expected to make cuts to higher education.
During Kasich’s State of the State address, he mentioned an $8 billion hole in the next two-year state budget. This is a hole that he said he would not raise taxes to fill.
In last week’s address, Kasich gave an indication where some of these cuts might be coming from.
“I can’t fill that stimulus gap. It’s not going to happen,” Kasich said.
Universities in Ohio now receive $3.4 billion for instruction from the two-year state budget, and $600 million from federal stimulus money. That money, if Kasich follows through with what he said in his address, will not be replaced in his budget.
“There’s a high probability we will increase tuition next year,” President E. Gordon Gee told The Lantern editorial staff Jan. 12, just after spending the day with Kasich in Detroit.
But until Tuesday, Ohio’s budget is “up in the air,” Gee said, and there’s no telling exactly how much money Kasich will allocate to higher education. With the state facing a more-than $8 billion deficit, it’s not likely to be much.
“I believe that the likelihood of the university getting additional funds is not high,” Gee said.
Robyn Kleiner, a fourth-year in music education, said as a culture, we need to look at the value of a college degree.
“All over the country people have been facing tuition hikes for college and Ohio has been immune from it for a while,” Kleiner said.
There is more to the budget than education alone. Kasich will continue to try and combat the unemployment rate, currently at 9.6 percent in Ohio, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With the potential of increased tuition at Ohio State and the elimination of some Pell Grants and graduate student subsidies, the budget will be all-revealing to the state of Ohio and its future on higher education.