Budget analysts urge delay in tuition spending

January 27, 1999|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,SUN STAFF

Legislative budget analysts, testifying in hearings in Annapolis yesterday, recommended delaying a program that would provide scholarships for college students planning to become teachers, and holding off on committing more money to the state's prepaid tuition plan until it proves viable.

In the first airing of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's higher education initiative before the Health, Education and Human Resources Subcommittee of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, analysts for the Department of Legislative Services called for trimming $6.4 million from the Maryland Higher Education Commission's $102 million budget.

Almost all of that money -- $6 million -- would come from delaying a plan to extend the Hope scholarship program to prospective teachers.

The Hope program pays $3,000 a year in tuition costs for students studying science and technology who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and commit to working in the state.

Glendening proposes that those students who commit to teach be made eligible for similar money this fall. But budget analyst Ben Birge told the committee that instead, the higher education panel should receive $125,000 to plan for getting the program under way in the fall of 2000.

Pub Date: 1/27/99

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