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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Guv will hold back 4% from schools, colleges



State agencies including public schools and universities just learned that Gov. Charlie Crist, a day after signing a pared-down $66-billion budget, isn't ready to spend even that much - a sign of the weakening economy.

The governor's office will hold back 4 percent of agencies' budgets, as he did last year, in anticipation of state tax collections and revenues continuing to fall below expectations.

Board of Governors spokesman Bill Edmonds said the news was not unexpected, given the reports on state tax collections this spring.

"Like everyone in Florida , we hope the economy, here and nationally, starts showing new strength soon," he said. "We will continue steps begun last year to tighten up operations and reduce expenditures."

USF provost Ralph Wilcox said this is precisely why USF announced a few weeks ago it would cut its budget for the coming year by $50-million -- $36-million to cover lost state money, and $14-million they anticipated the state would cut in the future.

The 4 percent cut amounts to about $14-million, Wilcox said.

"There goes our $14-million."

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:47am]


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