Deal adding core higher education funding on the table in the House | State News

JEFFERSON CITY — When the Missouri House meets Tuesday morning to consider the proposed 2019 budget, a deal that would add about $14 million in core funding to the University of Missouri System will be on the table.

State Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, the Republican chairman of the budget committee, has proposed amendments to the higher education funding bill that would move about $30 million from Access Missouri need-based scholarship money into the core funding of higher education institutions.

It’s a deal Fitzpatrick has previous offered, but it comes with a catch: Schools must agree to freeze tuition for the coming year.

The UM System has not publicly agreed to that arrangement, and when contacted late Monday afternoon, a UM spokesman said there had been no change in the university’s position.

The total amount at stake for higher education is about $30 million. The money comes from a pool of $80 million the General Assembly set aside last year when Congress failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Fund, according to previous Missourian reporting. With the renewal of CHIP earlier this year, Fitzpatrick announced he would like to funnel the money toward higher education.

If the money isn’t moved, it will remain in the Access Missouri fund.

Missourian reporter Titus Wu contributed to this report.

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