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Your Education, Your Money: Wisconsin State Budget Priorities 2009-2011

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Wisconsin Biennial State Budget Priorities 2009-2011 United Council of UW Students January 2009 This decade has been marked with a quarter billion dollar cut to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System. The UW System may have recovered, but UW students of this decade have never recovered. The UW System in 2000 was an institution where students could pay for tuition out of pocket with minimal family contribution or loans. The UW of 2008 is a UW where loans are a given and students opt out of higher education based on sheer fear of the costs. This is something we have never experienced before. In 2006-07, 67% of those resident undergraduate students who completed their degree had student loan debt averaging $21,104. The Governor, and particularly the legislature, has the unique opportunity to replace that quarter billion dollar cut that priced students out of higher education. Never should access to higher education be an issue of taking out more high interest federal loans. It should be an issue of access to any UW school of a resident’s choice. With the 2009-2011 biennial budgets, we have the opportunity notably to assist students who are already in school. We have the opportunity to expand access to a new generation of students, possibly the largest generation of college students in over twenty years. In our rapidly changing state, higher education is more necessary than ever. In your next biennial budget, we urge the legislature to pass: • An increase of no more than 3% (“inflation”) for tuition at four year University of Wisconsin system schools • A tuition freeze for two-year UW system colleges • Increased state funding for the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (WHEG) by $29 million over the biennium • Increased state funding for the Lawton Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant (LMURG) by $700,000 over the biennium • Dollar for Dollar Increase State Statute for the WHEG and LMURG, at an estimated $28 million • Increased state funding for the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship by $885,000 over the biennium • Funding for the Inclusive Excellence Program • Full funding for UW Colleges mental health counseling programs by $565,000 of GPR Dollars • Increasing faculty pay strictly from state GPR dollars • Domestic Partner Benefits for all UW System employees, approximately $1.7 million • Increased allocation for University of Wisconsin System sustainable development growth at $100,000


Student Government Association http://www.uwsp.edu/stuorg/sga/
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