Mo. Higher Education board: No budget growth for FY 2011

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's colleges and universities will likely continue to struggle financially during the next fiscal year.

The Coordinating Board for Higher Education is recommending the state spend $961 million during Fiscal Year 2011, which begins next July. That's about the same amount of money allocated this year.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Wagner calls it a continuation of bad news.

"Basically, the message is, 'There is no new money...if you want to fund something new, you need to take funding away from something that's currently in the budget,'" Wagner said.

Wagner suggests the news couldn't have come at a worse time.

"We've got (a) larger high school graduating class this year, we've got enrollments going up, we've got more students needing financial aid, and at the same time we've got fewer resources from the state...a lot of institutions are in a pinch," Wagner said.

Wagner also says it's possible the state might have to revise the budget recommendation downward, and he expects the hiring freeze within the University of Missouri system to continue.