Shapiro proposes 7.1% increases in funding for Pitt


Ethan Shulman | Senior Staff Photographer

Josh Shapiro speaks with Pitt students in Nordy’s Place on Oct. 27, 2022.

By Punya Bhasin, News Editor

In his first budget proposal as governor, Josh Shapiro proposed a 7.1% increase in funding for Pitt and the three other state-related universities — Penn State, Temple and Lincoln University. 

Shapiro’s $44.4 billion spending plan includes $1 billion in new education funding, including $60 million in additional funding for institutions of higher education, as reported by the Tribune Review. Shapiro’s plan also includes a 2% funding increase for state-owned universities.

Shapiro’s plan would bring Pitt’s state appropriation — which it uses to lower tuition costs for in-state students — to $162 million. In the budget request it submitted last fall, Pitt requested a 6% budget increase. 

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher told the University Times that he couldn’t guess Pitt’s chances of getting the full 7.1% increase. However, he said “what I can say, for certain, is that I’m grateful for Gov. Josh Shapiro’s support and Pitt’s ongoing partnership with the legislature.” 

Pitt sought a 5.5% funding increase last year, after receiving flat funding the two years prior. Former Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget for 2022-23 included a 5% funding increase for Pitt, amounting to about $7.7 million. 

Funding for Pennsylvania’s state-related schools ultimately remained stagnant. However, Wolf granted $40 million in relief money to the schools. Pitt gave the entirety of the $7.5 million it received in relief money to about 20,000 in-state undergraduate and graduate students across its five campuses. Republican legislators threatened to block Pitt’s funding unless they stopped conducting fetal tissue research during the budget cycle.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to do right by our kids, to fund our schools and to empower parents to put their kids in the best possible position for them to succeed,” Shapiro said

Shapiro’s budget proposal also includes capital funds for Pitt, including $37 million for construction of a track and field complex, $10 million for the Hillman Library project and $5 million for renovations of Chevron Science Center.