Monday, October 30, 2006

State Higher Ed Funding Down

Apparently the anecdotal experience of students and faculty at public colleges who feel like their budgets haven't recovered since the most recent recession in 2001 isn't so anecdotal. A new report by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University has found that state funding levels are in fact down compared to state economic growth. From InsideHigherEd:

Roller coasters and yo-yos are among the metaphors frequently used when experts describe cycles of state appropriations for higher education. Recessions bring cuts, but recoveries allow public colleges and universities to regain funds and strength — at least until the next decline. And anyone who has worked at a public college has seen the pattern. After some tight years, there are usually headlines about legislators and governors approving substantial increases in state support.

A study being released today, however, suggests that thereÂ’s a reason that many who work at public colleges feel as if their classes are larger, their paychecks are not so large, and their students are having more difficulty getting into courses or paying their bills. The 25-year analysis of state spending on higher education finds that the improved finances that follow a recession rarely restore collegesÂ’ budgets to levels where they can provide what they had pre-recession.

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