States Consider Higher-Ed Funding Increases

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Higher education budgets have been stretched to the breaking point in recent years, and some states are beginning to address the problem with funding increases.

Minnesota’s House of Representatives approved a 150 million increase in spending on state colleges and universities on April 25, after legislators said that higher education had been too long neglected in the state’s budgets, the Republican-Eagle reports. If the law passes, much of the money will be directed toward making college more affordable through tuition freezes, debt relief and state grants. The bill also calls for public colleges and universities to report more information to the state, heightening accountability for the new funds they would receive.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said on April 26 that legislators should protect funding for Kansas' public colleges and universities because his administration has required the state’s higher education system to take on extra work, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

However, as the governor touted his budget proposals, he touted a legislative study of university operations to examine House Republican leaders’ questions about whether the campuses have stockpiled funds, the story said.

In Oregon, hundreds of students marched to the state Capitol on April 25 to advocate for more funding for higher education, the Statesman Journal reported.

The Oregon Students Association is asking lawmakers for $510 million in community college funding and $850 million for universities. The group also wants an extra $15 million for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, a need-based program for college students, the story said.

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