Kemp's office ordered state agencies to cut their budgets before the coronavirus pandemic, by 4% this fiscal year and 6% for the next fiscal year to both prepare for a potential economic slowdown and pay for his priorities, such as the teacher pay raise. Some projections say the lasting economic slowdown will cut revenue by more than $3 billion in fiscal 2021. The state's proposed FY 2021 budget was about $28 billion.
The Georgia Board of Regents, which governs the University System, voted last month not to raise tuition at the system's 26 colleges and universities because of the pandemic's impact on students and their families.
Wrigley said he must submit a plan to the state by no later than May 20. The chancellor’s letter asked the schools to be strategic in their approach to proposing cuts, saying “across the board cuts are not permitted.”
A University System spokesman declined to comment about Wrigley’s letter.
“Our priority continues to be helping our students complete a college education,” Wrigley wrote. “Our mission is more critical than ever as we take a leading role in helping all Georgians recover.”