Tuesday, September 26, 2006

State isn't doing enough to keep college costs in check

Asbury Park Press (13 Sept 2006): Two reports recently issued are critical of New Jersey's commitment to higher education. One report is the 2006 report for New Jersey Policy Perspective by Anastasia Mann and Mary Forsberg called "Flunking Out: New Jersey's Support for Higher Education Falls Short." This report cites a steady drop in support for higher education from 9.8 percent of the state budget in 1983 to about 5.3 percent currently.

The second is a just-released report of the National Conference on State Legislatures that singles out the Garden State, with a 2.5 percent drop in appropriations, and Texas, with a 0.7 percent drop, as glaring departures from the average 6.3 percent growth nationally in general fund support for higher education between FY 2006 and FY 2007.

New Jersey is not living up to its obligation to share the costs of funding quality state colleges and universities. We now have among the highest four-year public college/university tuition rates in the nation. We are cutting back at a time when other states are investing in higher education. It is time for the state and colleges and universities to work together more closely.

Read DARRYL G. GREER's analysis and recommendations for improving the situation, click here.


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