The Pennsylvania House Freedom Caucus (PAFC) this week issued an ultimatum to the Pennsylvania State University: Either your hospitals will stop providing puberty blockers to children or funding won’t be forthcoming.
Penn State Health operates six hospitals in central Pennsylvania. The PAFC is castigating the university-run system for “prescribing experimental puberty blockers and providing “‘gender-affirming care’ to children as young as FIVE YEARS OLD.”
The Pennsylvania State University has reportedly yet to answer a Philadelphia-based free-speech nonprofit’s request that the school confirms adherence to freedom of association.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) asked Penn State to do so after a brief disagreement this spring between administrators and the College Independents. This student group hosts political discussions featuring “a wide variety of viewpoints.”
Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities are moving ahead with tuition increases in spite of Republican lawmakers’ exhortations that they freeze their prices.
Earlier this week, state Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) sent a letter to the administrators of Temple University, Lincoln University, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University to urge them not to further economically burden students or their families as inflation rages. Soon thereafter, GOP leaders of the state House of Representatives sent their own message to the four schools which operate independently but rely heavily on state funding.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) this week wrote to Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities to urge them to abandon their planned tuition increases and freeze in-state tuition in light of skyrocketing inflation.
The senator noted that the Keystone State’s Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget allots $600 million in total to Lincoln University, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University. Those institutions are also getting $40 million in new discretionary funding from Gov. Tom Wolf (D). With such generous state subsidies, Mastriano reasoned, partially public universities should make every effort to avoid putting new pressures on students and their families.
As July begins, Pennsylvania enters into Fiscal Year 2022-23 without an FY 22-23 budget.
Republicans who control the General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf have yet to agree on all facets of the spending plan. Altogether, the governor has proposed allotting $43.7 billion in taxpayer money in the next budget cycle, a figure that Republicans have said is too high.
A bill to create a performance-based funding incentive for three public universities passed the Pennsylvania House Education Committee on Monday, with all 15 Republicans supportive and all 10 Democrats opposed.
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-24, the bill would apply to Pennsylvania State University, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh, three of Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities. (The fourth, Lincoln University, is a historically black institution that relies primarily on commonwealth funding.)
State Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Greensburg) on Wednesday announced a proposal to redirect $580 million previously allotted to three major Pennsylvania universities to a college voucher program.
Under the representative’s measure, students from households with up to $100,000 in annual earnings would receive yearly grants of as much as $8,000 per year for higher education. Those from households earning between $100,000 and $250,000 would get vouchers of $4,000. These payments would be managed via an expansion of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), an agency Nelson said has demonstrated an ability to efficiently oversee Pennsylvania students’ financial assistance.