Sunday, January 9, 2011

MyNotes - Budget Hits Higher Education

Heavy duty hits pending for higher education, too. A part of me cringes as I consider that public school education--which employs both my wife and I--is due to suffer cuts at the exact time one of my children is getting ready to go to college. I worry about squandered brilliance, not for lack of desire or motivation on the part of the children, but because adults failed to deliver on the promise.

Put this against the backdrop of global competition rhetoric and you have a situation that cries out, "Stop experimenting with education and stripping away the infrastructure (human, capital) we need to be successful!"

View a highlighted version of "" at

Just the highlights:

* Budget shortfall may gut higher ed, financial aid e src/business/templates/hearst/article/headline.tpl By Melissa Published: 12:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 5, 2011

* As the 82nd legislative session kicks off Tuesday, higher education has turned into a fat target for budget cuts as legislators seek to patch a projected $20 billion shortfall.

* Universities and colleges already have been asked to give back 7.5 percent of state dollars in this two-year budget cycle, and could face another 10 percent cut over the next two years.

* Public community colleges and universities already have begun grappling with budget cuts by increasing class sizes, shedding full-time employees and filling the teaching ranks with part-time professors.

* Further cuts could force them to defer maintenance projects, reduce academic offerings and cut programs that aren't core to the teaching mission

* higher tuition for students and families

* every dollar invested in higher education returns more than $5 to the Texas economy, according to the Texas comptroller.

* The cuts come at a time when demographers project the state must double the percentage of adults with at least an associate's degree to 60 percent by 2030 to meet work force demand, said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business.

* According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, students who entered Texas public higher education in 2003 and walked away without a degree cost $713 million in state and federal financial aid and $330 million in state appropriations.

* The group is backing a plan by the Coordinating Board to carve out 10 percent of state appropriations for universities and tie it to the number of bachelor's degrees awarded, with extra weight for at-risk students and high-demand fields such as science and math.

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