The Birmingham-Southern Board of Trustees is still trying to figure out what to do in the face of lackluster legislative support surrounding the financially embattled private college's requested $37.5 million bailout.
Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) is a private Methodist-affiliated college. Late last year, the college requested a $37.5 million bailout from local, state and federal taxpayers. The bailout has also garnered the support of State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestvia Hills) and State Rep. Jim Carns (R-Vestavia Hills).
The college asked for $12.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds and $17.5 million from the state education fund. It also requested a $5 million contribution from the Birmingham City Council and $2.5 million from the Jefferson County Commission (JCC).
JCC president Jimmie Stephens warned 1819 News last year that bailing out a private college could be a "slippery slope."
In January, BSC officials asked alums to lobby state and local elected officials for government funds.
However, State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said in February that it was not likely that the state would pursue a bailout for the college.
Earlier this month, the Alabama Legislature appropriated money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and did not include any to help BSC with its financial woes.
The Birmingham City Council delayed a vote on a resolution last week that would've promised support for BSC if the college garnered support from the state government. Some council members expressed concern over the resolution lacking a dollar amount that the city would be willing to offer. The council will now vote on the resolution on April 19.
A spokesperson from Ivey's office also told the press that the governor had no plan to bail out the private school.
ABC 33/40 obtained a statement from the BSC Board of Trustees that it sent to the BSC campus community.
The statement insisted that the board would have to decide soon about the college's future, but it needs to know whether or not the state would offer any funding.
The statement said that the board had decided to move its next meeting to April 5 and asked students to focus on class and friends and not worry about the possibility that BSC could close after this semester.
The statement again encouraged alumni and parents to contact elected officials and encourage them to give government funding to the private school.
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