Bevin’s budget proposal could eliminate two U of L programs

By on January 17, 2018

By Shelby Brown —

As U of L strategizes how to deal with Governor Bevin’s proposed 6.25 percent statewide cuts, some university programs could possibly be eliminated.

In the 368-page proposal, publicly released Jan. 16, the numbers show the potential elimination of the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program and the Kentucky Autism Training Center.

Executive Director of KATC Larry Taylor said the center is a part of Kentucky statue, established through General Assembly in 1996. The center is the only one of its kind in Kentucky.

“We’re a part of law, but yet that was apparently not considered when the decision was made,” Taylor said.

At the time of establishment, KATC received state appropriations upwards of $236,000 annually from the state. Taylor said the amount has continuously declined to the amount Bevin proposes to fully remove.

Currently, KATC receives $119,500 from the state, 16 percent of their budget. Accompanied by funding from the Kentucky Department of Education, KATC is able to meet statewide needs.

“We will still be able to continue to provide services but we would just not be able to provide the extent of services that we have been providing. We certainly would run into significant challenges reaching our rural areas in the state,” Taylor said.

The College of Education and Human Development is hoping for more information next week regarding the state of KTIP.

“We are waiting to hear from the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board and our P-12 district and school partners in JCPS and OVEC regarding the proposed cuts for new teacher induction,” Dean Ann Larson said.

Bevin plans to cut the university’s budget by 5.3 percent, nearly $7 million.

U of L’s current state allocation is $131,430,400, but Bevin recommends slashing it to $124,460,600 for 2018-19. In total, the proposal cuts higher education funding by 6.6 percent, almost $78 million.

“We understand that the Commonwealth has a pension crisis, and the governor and our legislators have serious decisions to make with regard to the state budget. The proposal that Gov. Bevin introduced last night provides a starting point for a frank discussion about funding for higher education,” Interim President Greg Postel said in a statement.

While preparing for what was rumored to be a cut of around 17 percent, Postel scheduled February budget forums to get input from the campus community on U of L’s financial future.

Bevin’s proposal called for spending reductions in almost every area of state government and 6.25 percent across the board cuts for most state agencies. The plans also call for the elimination of 70 programs.

Postel said he plans to meet with lawmakers in the coming weeks to advocate for U of L, work with the Council on Postsecondary Education and colleagues at other public institutions to present a case.

“In the meantime, we are preparing for a variety of scenarios at the University of Louisville. I am confident that we will find creative solutions to the challenges ahead,” Postel said.

 

Updated 1/21/18, 1:40 p.m.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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