While higher education funding is shrinking nationwide, a new report shows the rate of decrease in Louisiana is the third highest in the country despite a sharp increase in tuition revenue. The State Higher Education Executive Officers, a nonprofit association of chief executive officers for postsecondary education, detailed the figures in its annual "State Higher Education Finance Report."
Louisiana Commissioner for Higher Education Jim Purcell hopes the report will boost his argument for overhauling the state's higher education funding system.
"At a time when we need to be investing in higher education, higher education funding is at risk," he says. "What we should be doing is giving additional investment in that sector so that we can prepare for the additional skilled workforce we're going to need."
According to the report, total revenue for higher education in Louisiana was down 10.2% in 2012. The decline is attributed to a 25.4% decrease in state and local appropriations—the second-highest drop in the country, behind New Hampshire.