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Gov. Scott approves $36M bridge funding for state colleges

October 9, 2020 GMT

LYNDON CENTER, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill to provide bridge funding for the Vermont State Colleges System.

State Sen. Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia, and chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that the governor signed H. 969 on Oct. 2. She said the bill will help the system, which has been in a financial crisis since the pandemic hit, the Caledonian Record reported.

Kitchel said that the bill includes the full funding of $36 million for the system bridge year and $28 million to cover costs associated with the coronavirus pandemic including room and board refunds, PPE, and remote learning equipment.

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“This additional funding support for the VSC System of $63 million, which with the normal annual appropriation of $31.6 million, reflects total funding in this fiscal year of nearly $95 million,” Kitchel said. “This funding prevented the closure of the NVU campuses at Lyndon, Johnson and the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph and provides the time needed to develop a path forward for future sustainability.”

In March, when the system switched to remote learning, about $5.1 million in room and board payments were refunded.