Sunday, April 26, 2009

Latest Gibbons idea on higher ed funding: take the federal simulus money and then cut from higher ed anyway

Today's Nevada Appeal reports on Governor Gibbons' latest idea for handling the federal stimulus money intended to shore up state support for higher education.

Until now it had appeared the state had three choices :

  1. restore approximately $250 million to higher ed funding to get us back to 2006 levels (as required under the federal stimulus law's provision for "maintenance of effort," intended to keep states from merely using stimulus money to replace state spending)
  2. restore approximately $315 million to higher ed funding to get our share of the overall state budget back to where it was in 2007 (and thus qualify for a waiver from federal "maintainence of effort" requirements)
  3. decline $400 million in federal stimulus money for education
Today we learn that the Gibbons administration is considering taking the money, not meeting either the "maintainence of effort" or the waiver requirements, and merely using the federal money to replace state funding for this year -- and then spending the state's money elsewhere, which would mean there's no stimulus money left for next year and the year after.

In short, he wants to flaunt federal requirements (which could jeopardize state eligibility for federal education funding in the future, including our chances of competing for incentive grants for educational improvement that are also a part of the stimulus bill) and at the same time, create an even greater budget crisis for high education in our state a year from now.

All of this is probably what we should have expected from the Gibbons administration.

So why is Speaker Buckley quoted in the article saying its "under consideration"?

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