Crist's college cuts would violate statute, education leaders maintain
The recommended higher education budget cuts that Gov. Charlie Crist released Thursday might violate state law, maintain some education leaders.
Of the $983-million in total recommended cuts for state agencies, about a third would come from universities and community colleges. Meanwhile, Crist wants to keep per-pupil spending in K-12 schools level.
Faculty union reps from the University of South Florida say that such a disproportionate cutting strategy would violate statute 415.16 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0215/SEC16.HTM&Title=-%3E2007-%3ECh0215-%3ESection%2016), which states that:
"If the state appropriations from the General Revenue Fund for the benefit of the uniform system of public free schools, state institutions of higher learning, and community colleges cannot be paid in full during any given year, they shall be diminished only in the same proportion that appropriations for all other purposes from the General Revenue Fund are diminished during such year. Additionally, any funding reductions to public free schools, state institutions of higher learning, and community colleges shall be diminished in proportions identical to one another."