Current as of June 4, 2009
It is with a great deal of relief that I share with you news that the S.C. Supreme Court this afternoon has issued an order “compelling the Governor of South Carolina to comply with the law” adopted by the General Assembly, which requires him to apply for and accept federal stimulus funds for public education and law enforcement. As you may recall, the governor has said recently that he will follow the court’s decision.
As I have indicated to you previously, the General Assembly prospectively has allocated approximately $3 million to Winthrop from these federal funds. While this does not restore all of the $5.8 million lost from our state appropriation since this time last year ($5.1 million of it in the last eight months,) it will most certainly help us in planning a budget for next year that will meet two important objectives:
- help us start the next academic year without furlough days.
- help us keep the tuition increase for Fall 2009 well below the double-digit level that would have been necessary otherwise.
This has been a protracted process, requiring the best efforts of a wide array of leaders of both parties in the halls of both the U.S. Congress and the General Assembly. Of paramount importance have been the voices of individual citizens who have called, written, e-mailed, rallied and otherwise offered non-partisan encouragement to their public officials on behalf of South Carolina having its share of federal stimulus funds. On behalf of the campus community, I would like to extend thanks to all the public officials and private-sector friends of education who have played a part in this positive outcome, as well as to the campus community, itself, for remaining purposeful throughout this difficult time.
As we all have recognized from the outset, the stimulus funds are a bridge, not a destination, so we must now prepare to continue our work to meet the circumstances of the present while also enabling a bright future for Winthrop and for our students. I will keep you posted as further developments warrant.