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As Negotiations Enter Crucial Phase, Budget Funding for Higher Ed, University Projects Unclear

Florence Schneider Hall on the WKU Campus,the home of the Gatton Academy
Florence Schneider Hall on the WKU Campus,the home of the Gatton Academy

The budget passed by the Kentucky Senate this week has mixed news for WKU. Money for a capital project at the school was removed while other WKU-related funds were left intact.

The Senate’s budget deleted funding for most university capital projects, including bonds to fund a renovation of the Thompson Complex Center Wing, home to numerous WKU science classes.

However, the Senate budget does include funding for the Gatton Academy for Math and Science to support 80 additional students beginning in 2015.

The budget passed by the House includes bond funding for the Thompson Complex project and money to expand the Gatton Academy. But it also contains a 2.5 percent cut to higher education funding.

The Senate spending plan restored that higher education funding cut at the expense of most university capital projects.

Now that both the House and Senate have passed different versions of the budget, conference committee negotiations will begin this week at the state capitol.

The Senate version of the budget does include funding for two university capital projects: the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville run by Murray State, and the Georgetown Advanced Technology Center operated by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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