Tallahassee, FL - These Florida State University seniors are getting a crash course in civics. They made the short walk from FSU to the state capitol Thursday, with stories of how three straight years of budget cuts have impacted their school.
“You start to see some of the programs being a little bit watered down,” said Dustin Daniels, FSU Student Body President.
“There are fewer TA’s in your classrooms, More people in your classrooms,” said FSU Senior Brock Howard.
“Since 2007 FSU specifically has been cut about 85 million dollars. That’s resulted in 40 programs being shut down,” said Bobby Seifter, VP of the FSU Student Body.
The three student body leaders headed a group of 35 FSU students on a lobbying trip through the halls of the state capitol.
They found sympathy for their story, but hope is all together different. Millions of stimulus dollars for higher education aren’t likely to be replaced.
Plus a budget exercise in underway at the behest of lawmakers, asking public universities to come up with a plan to cut 15 percent for their budgets.
It’s just a worst case scenario, but with a 3.7 billion dollar budget shortfall money has to come from somewhere. State Senator Mike Fasano says tough choices will be made.
Reporter: So is this just the harsh reality at this time?
Fasano: It is, it is and that’s what really is sad because those students are paying for it.”
The students will share the burden. A 15 percent tuition increase is likely at each of the eleven state universities. The students also raised concerns that a reduction in health care and pension benefits to professors could cause good teachers to leave Florida.