Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 20, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 03/20/2013

FROM WIRE REPORTS

— CMU aids military personnel hit by cuts

MOUNT PLEASANT — Central Michigan University is offering grants to military personnel approaching graduation who face aid losses because of federal budget cuts.

The Mount Pleasant-based school said Tuesday that the grants are meant to offset the federal government’s suspension of tuition assistance to members of the military.

The grants are available to students holding an E7 rank or below with a semester remaining on graduate or undergraduate degrees.

Central Michigan’s Global Campus offers bachelor, master and doctoral degrees along with professional development courses. Programs are offered online and at more than 50 locations, including 20 military bases.

The Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have suspended tuition assistance programs for active-duty, reserve or National Guard service members because of automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect March 1.

Right-to-work debate hits school funding

LANSING — Michigan’s public universities that approve extended contracts before the right-to-work law goes into effect March 28 could lose 15 percent in state aid under a bill passed by a House panel.

The bill passed 4-3 Tuesday by the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee makes 15 percent of state funding contingent on requirements that employee contracts approved between Dec. 10 and March 28 show more than 10 percent in savings.

Republicans control the Legislature, which last year passed the law to bar unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers they represent.

The bill could cost Wayne State University $27 million this year. The university’s governors are expected to vote Wednesday on a tentative 8-year faculty contract.

Opponents say universities should be free to renegotiate contracts before the law goes into effect.