Governor Ralph Northam’s announcement yesterday allocating $116 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars to Virginia’s institutions of higher education follows on the heels the General Assembly’s passage of a budget allocating an additional $80 million in state funding for Virginia’s colleges. Last month, the Governor also announced a debt refinancing plan that will save the schools over $300 million over the next two years. In response, the president of Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust, Dr. James P. Toscano, offered the following statement:
“As students and families continue to pay full price for inferior college experiences, Virginia leaders are focusing relief efforts on institutions while neglecting students. The ‘no-strings attached’ financial bailouts lack any real oversight or incentives for schools to operate more cost-effectively or to consider the equally challenging financial conditions facing students and their families. Considering that Virginia’s colleges and universities are set to receive nearly $200 million in state financial support, it is shocking that state leaders have failed to require any accountability whatsoever.”
In 2019, Partners played a key role in convincing the General Assembly to tie funding for institutions to tuition freezes, saving Virginia families $52.5 million. In August of this year, Partners led a coalition to develop the Tuition Payers Bill of Rights.