Education officials in Colorado received an early Christmas gift this year following the announcement that planned education budget cuts of $89 million will no longer be necessary, reports Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
Colleges and universities in the state will still face some cuts, although they will not be as severe as initially thought. The budget for higher education will be reduced by $30 million as opposed to $60 million. Of the $30 million allocated for higher education, around $25 million would be used to provide financial aid programs such as scholarships to students.
The reduction in necessary cuts is due to unexpected growth in employment, state tax income and expansion of the state's oil and gas industries. These factors mean that state revenues will be $231 million more than expected.
"I didn't know it was in your job description to be Santa's helper this year," said Senator Kent Lambert, addressing state budget director Henry Sobanet, as quoted by the news source.
Just two days ago, Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia urged policymakers to reconsider budget cuts that would affect student financial aid, reports the Pueblo Times. Garcia told the Joint Budget Committee that the state needs to increase the number of students graduating from colleges if the state is to remain competitive.