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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

O Arizona: $154 Million in Stimulus Money for State Universities

Arizona universities to get $154 million in stimulus cash
Arizona's three state universities will start receiving $154 million in federal stimulus funds next week.

The money won't make up for all the cuts in their state funding, but university officials say the infusion will help save hundreds of jobs.

Arizona State, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University have struggled amid record cuts in state funding. The national recession has caused state tax revenues to drop sharply and has led to widespread funding cuts to state agencies and schools. The universities saw a 20 percent, or $190 million, reduction in state funding for the 2008-09 school year.

All three universities laid off employees during the past school year, eliminated academic programs with low enrollments and boosted some class sizes.

While the $154 million in federal stimulus will backfill some of the loss in state funding, the $190 million is a permanent reduction to the university system's budget, so the federal money won't entirely cover the deficit in coming years.

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