Money can't cure all ills, but more of it can stave off academic atrophy. FGCU and Edison State College, the region's two public institutions of higher learning, are hopeful that rosier state budget projections will ease five consecutive years of program and personnel cutbacks.
Gov. Rick Scott proposed an increase of $74.4 million for Florida's 28 community and state colleges, and an additional $393.3 million for 12 state universities. The higher education increases would be part of a year-over-year state budget increase of $4 billion. Area education leaders, however, aren't counting their eggs just yet.
"There are so many competing interests," said Edison State President Jeff Allbritten. "I'm just hoping we can hold our own."
FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw and his peers in the State University System have been touting education's significant bang for its buck.