Over the past five years, state-appropriated funding for faculty, curriculum, instruction, clinical work, scholarship, and involvement with P-12 schools has decreased substantially. The State of Nebraska has seen a dramatic loss of revenue that has resulted in reduced appropriations for higher education, and Chadron State College by approximately thirteen percent (13%). The budget for the Education Department has also decreased. In the 1999-2000 fiscal year the operating budget for the Department was $31,880; during the FY 03-04 the budget decreased to $27,000, an 18% reduction. For the FY 2005, the reduction to $20,000 was a 35% loss; for FY 2006 the budgeted amount remained the same. Table 6.4 shows Education Unit Funding during fiscal years 2003 through 2006. Table 6.5 identifies the Operational Budgets for both the School of Professional and Graduate Studies and School of Arts and Sciences, for academic years 2002-03 through 2005-06.
Allocated funding provides the resources for support of on-going programs, program initiatives, and assessment, technology, and outreach activities. Although the budget has seen decreases, through other funding available, the Education Unit has been able to function effectively. Within these budget constraints, the College has established an equipment fund for general operations. The Education Department has been able to use these funds to purchase the necessary equipment to function adequately. During FY 04-05 the computer and media laboratory was upgraded and an additional classroom was converted to a mediated classroom.
The faculty within the unit has access to a Faculty Development budget which allows each member of the unit $500 per year to attend conferences, workshops, etc. (Application for Faculty Development Funds). The Dean's travel budget has also been used to defray some of the costs of travel for faculty development. Unit faculty also have access to a CSC Faculty Research budget, which can be used to fund research activities within the unit (Institutional Research Funds).
A Cultural Diversity Education Fund was developed in 1995. This fund has enabled the unit to take senior level teacher candidates on a two-day multicultural field experience to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The annual budget for this fund is allocated at approximately $5000 for transportation, meals, and lodging for the candidates and faculty. This field experience occurs once every semester. The Cultural Diversity Budget Statement may be found in the Documents Center.
The Center for Rural and Small School Education has been given a budget for publishing the High Plains Courier. This budget is also used to pay the membership fees to the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association for unit faculty. This budget is also used to help offset faculty participation in professional development opportunities as they pertain to rural school education and administration. The Center for Rural and Small School Education Budget Statement may be found in the Documents Center.
To some degree, the unit has benefited from revenue generated from foundation development fund-raising activities (e.g., donations from alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College), grants and contracts procured by faculty, and delivery of regional outreach programs. These funds have been used for program initiatives, development of new technology resources, professional development and program enhancement.
Two four-year grant programs were awarded to the unit in the year 2000, in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Education. These grant funds have greatly assisted the unit in meeting its goals during these trying times. A federal Title II funded Nebraska Partnership for Quality Teacher Education subgrant was awarded to the unit in December of 2000, which provided funding to improve the recruitment, preparation, and support of new teachers. In total, this grant brought a total of approximately $147,000 to the unit. In addition to this grant, in October of 2000 the unit received another large grant in the amount of $85,000, also in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education. This four-year grant, a PT-3 Catalyst Grant, was administered through the Nebraska Department of Education, and funded through Title III of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Program. Catalyst Grant Budget and Expenditure Summary Statements may be found in the Documents Center.
In February of 2001, the unit was fortunate again in receiving another grant award. The Panhandle Unified Rural Education Project (PURE) was funded through the Nebraska SCRIPT Project in the amount of $156,774. This state sponsored initiative was funded through the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services under the U.S. Individuals with Disability Education Act, Part C and Part B, Section 619. The focus of this grant project was to promote teacher educator training and candidate preparation in early childhood and early intervention personnel, in the fields of special education and early childhood education. One result of this grant was the development, promotion, and eventual approval of the Early Childhood Unified Endorsement program (Birth-Grade 3). This endorsement allows the endorsement holder to serve as a special education and/or regular classroom teacher in grades K-3 in Nebraska Public Schools, or work with special needs children at the infant (Birth) to preschool level. Chadron State College is the only Nebraska state college to offer this progressive endorsement program. Two other Unified endorsement programs exist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and Kearney campuses. PURE Project Grant Budget and Expenditure Summary Statements may be found in the Documents Center.
Both state-appropriated and grant funding have enabled the unit to provide faculty and candidate training, state of the art technology instruction, and resources for our candidates. The CSC PURE Project website provides more detailed information about this grant project (http://www.csc.edu/p/pure/objectives.asp)