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Education

Board of Regents requests ~$240 million in state general funds for FY23

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Lindsey Balbierz
/
NPR
Teacher supplies

The Board of Regents is asking lawmakers for around $240 million in state general funds for fiscal year 2023.

The Regents and University officials presented their budget proposals to members of the Joint Appropriations committee Wednesday. The Regents also say they may need to raise tuition to cover the cost of salary increases.

The Board of Regents proposed a total budget of around 830 million dollars. Around 90 million of that would come from federal funds. Around 500 million would come from other funds such as tuition, fees and in-state public and private grants. The rest of the budget would come from state general funds.

The regents requested around $245 million in general funds. Governor Kristi Noem’s proposed budget gives the Board of Regents around $240 million.

One of the biggest general fund requests is 6.5 million dollars for the maintenance and repair of university buildings and other offices. However, the Governor recommends a lower amount of $1.7 million for maintenance and repair.

Other general fund requests include around $6.5 million for the South Dakota Opportunity scholarship and other scholarships, $2.9 million for the School for the Deaf and $3.4 million for the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

The Regents also requested funding for a law enforcement training program at USD and a training program for small meat processors through the SDSU extension office. Neither request made it into the Governor’s recommended budget.

The Board of Regents and top university officials support Governor Noem’s suggested 6 percent raise to state employees. They say it would help with recruiting and retaining professors, staff and frontline workers.

However, Board of Regents Executive Director, Brian Maher, says they may need to increase tuition to cover salary raises.

“These are very rough results, but they would be an average of 3.4 percent increase to tuition. Eight dollars and seventy cents per credit hour, essentially.”

Maher says the Board of Regents sets tuition and fees after salary policy is set by the legislature. Maher says tuition and fees are only increased to cover benefits and salary changes.