Vermont State College System discusses FY20-21 budget, needed funds to sustain in-person learning

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The Pandemic resulted in a $40.3 million ask from the Vermont State College System (VSC). Fortunately, in June, VSC received a portion of these funds.

“Once you take out that $5 million in General Funds, $7.5 million in CRF (COVID Relief Funds) bridge funding and then $4 million that we’re anticipating in carrying forward from FY20…it leaves us with $23.8 million as are actual ask right now,” said VSC Chancellor Sophie Zdatny.

That’s $23.8 million that VSC plans to present before the Senate of Appropriations this Wednesday. Currently, VSC is building the FY21 budget, necessary funds that could mean the future of student enrollment and in-person instruction at Vermont colleges.

“I don’t want to think about that right now…the reality is that we’re waiting to finalize our budget for FY21,” said Zdatny.

Sharron Scott Chief Financial Officer says Vermont State Colleges received a generous allocation of COVID relief funds but they come with some challenges.

“The availability of COVID Relief Funds is excellent. Where we have some challenges is how we can use those funds,” said Scott.

Scott explained COVID Relief Funds are used for specified purposes and can’t be spent as easily as general fund dollars. But in today’s meeting, she said all Vermont state colleges will have their Board Required Reserves topped off, something she described as very good news.

“Board Required Reserves are our rainy-day funds and so we like to make sure that each of our institutions has enough money on hand to be able to address a short term issue that can happen,” said Scott.

Chancellor Zdatny says the assistance they have received from the legislature thus far is encouraging and she hopes for the success of Vermont state colleges.

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