Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that he planned to reduce funding to higher education institutions by roughly 5 percent in the 2011 fiscal year.
At stops today at universities in St. Louis and Springfield, Nixon announced that he would propose for the next fiscal year funding higher education institutions at 95 percent of the current 2010 fiscal year's level. In exchange for such a move, institutions would agree to a tuition freeze for the 2010-2011 school year.
For the current fiscal year, Nixon offered to keep funding at the same level as fiscal year 2009 in exchange for keeping tuition static. A press release from Nixon's office said that the 5.2 percent reduction works out to a decline of $42 million.
"By helping keep higher education affordable, we are taking bold steps to prepare the workforce that will move Missouri forward,” Nixon said in a press release.
The release also featured positive comments from University of Missouri system President Gary Forsee, who said that the move "strikes the best balance in a difficult and fiscally challenging time for our state."
The plan needs the approval of the Missouri General Assembly and the governing boards of various public higher education institutions.
Nixon has announced numerous cutbacks in recent weeks in response to declining state revenues. He announced, for instance, that he would cut funding to the University of Missouri Hospital system by roughly $3 million.