In a few short weeks, the board of governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) will vote on a plan to consolidate six of its campuses, dramatically reducing its offerings to students in northwest, central and southwest Pennsylvania. If approved, the consolidation will result in the loss of 1 in 7 jobs at PASSHE schools, striking another blow to the commonwealth’s rural communities that have yet to rebound from decades of factory closings.
Recognizing the loss of good-paying jobs and the long-term negative effects of gutting our higher education system, Gov. Wolf has proposed a new scholarship program that would reduce the cost of attending a PASSHE school for 44,000 students, paid for by reducing public funding for the horse racing industry. The scholarships would boost enrollment in the system, reduce student debt loads and help plug Pennsylvania’s brain drain.