Stumbo pegs higher ed funding on UPike status

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he won't support an increase in higher education funding until the University of Pikeville is a state school.

The Lexington Herald-Leader says the Prestonsburg Democrat believes making the school a four-year state institution is the best way to improve access to higher education for students in Appalachia.

University President Paul Patton, the former Kentucky governor, promoted adding the school to the state system nearly a year ago, but the idea ran into opposition and a compromise plan failed in the Senate. Gov. Steve Beshear then authorized a pilot scholarship program for students in nine eastern Kentucky counties.

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education spokeswoman Sue Patrick said the council wants to make sure everyone in the state has equitable access to higher education.

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