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Budget cuts won’t just affect public universities

From my inbox, an email from the new President of my alma mater.

Dear Mr. Kuffner:

As you may be aware, the State of Texas faces an unprecedented budget shortfall of between $15 billion and $28 billion for the next two years. Budget proposals under consideration by the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature include massive cuts to health and education, including a 41 percent cutback in Texas Equalization Grants (TEG). More than 400 Trinity students from Texas receive this grant because they qualify for need-based funding and attend a private college.

If you are a former TEG recipient, I encourage you to contact your legislators and urge them to restore full funding to the Texas Equalization Grants program. Even if you did not receive TEG funding as a Trinity student, I encourage you to make contact as the proposed reductions could have an adverse impact on current and future Trinitonians from Texas. As an economist, I can assure you that cuts to TEG will not save the State of Texas money but will only further increase the financial burden on families and public institutions.

A template letter is attached for your convenience and offers you an opportunity for personalization. I ask that you send the letters by mail, as most members of the Legislature immediately delete e-mail. The links provided below will enable you to identify your hometown Representative and Senator and place their contact information in the letters. Once you open the Web site address below, click on “How Do I…” and follow the link to “Find who represents me.” There you can fill in the fields with your hometown information.

The proposed reduction is serious, but I am optimistic that it will not be so severe by the end of the process. A letter from you to your elected officials will aid in Trinity’s efforts as I work with members of the Texas Legislature to restore as much of the proposed reduction as possible.


Dennis A. Ahlburg

Here’s the sample letter they’d like us alums to write. I feel pretty confident that my Rep and my Senator will do the right thing, so I’ll leave it to y’all to pick up the mantle as you see fit. I figure if Trinity is calling on its alums to get involved like this, other private universities are as well. Whether they’ll have any more luck than the public schools, I don’t know. But there’s no choice but to try and hope for the best.

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