House Speaker Mike Turzai to Join State System’s Board of Governors
HARRISBURG – House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) has joined the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors.

“It is an honor to join the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors at this critical juncture,” Turzai said. “As the state system examines the role it will play in the future, I look forward to working with the rest of the board to ensure we are preparing students for the jobs that are available and to ensure that we are holding the line on tuition increases.”

Earlier this year, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee commissioned a study regarding PASSHE’s future. Turzai emphasized the need to move forward with a review of each of the recommendations outlined in that report and to begin implementing reforms that will make the system stronger moving forward.

“The legislative study includes several recommendations that many of us have discussed for some time. Each of these options deserves careful consideration. We should be open to the suggestion that the state-related schools – Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln – should take responsibility and ownership of a troubled state system university. Penn State took responsibility and ownership of Penn College of Technology in 1989, and by all measures has been a success,” Turzai said.

Turzai also renewed his call for the PASSHE and the state-related universities to freeze tuition for in-state students. Pitt, Penn State, Temple, Lincoln and the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School all receive individual appropriations from the state budget totaling almost $600 million in the current fiscal year. PASSHE’s appropriation is $453 million in the current fiscal year.

“We are hoping that PASSHE and the state-related universities make a commitment to not increase tuition and room and board for our Pennsylvania students attending these institutions for the 2019-20 school year,” Turzai said. “With current budget negotiations underway, we expect that these schools will receive an increase in funding. These appropriations should be focused on making higher education more affordable for Pennsylvania students.”

Affordable access to higher education has been a priority for Turzai throughout his legislative career. He was the original author of what became Act 67 of 2006, which allows Pennsylvanians to deduct from their taxes up to $12,000 in contributions to 529 qualified college savings plans.

About the Board:

The 20-member Board of Governors is responsible for overseeing the State System of Higher Education, which comprises Pennsylvania’s 14 public universities. The board establishes broad educational, fiscal and personnel policies, and oversees the efficient management of the state system. Among other tasks, it appoints the chancellor and university presidents, sets tuition, and coordinates and approves the state system’s annual operating budget. In addition to the governor and four legislators, the board includes 14 members appointed by the governor—including three students—plus the state secretary of Education.

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Neal Lesher
717.260.6495 (office) 717.507.9240 (cell) / /

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