30 Jan 2015

The Governor of Wisconsin just cut $300M from its university system the day after he submitted a $220M proposal for a new sports arena

The latest news out of Madison isn’t good for students at Wisconsin’s public universities: Gov. Scott Walker just announced a plan to cut $300 million in state funding for the publicly funded UW system over two years.
State revenues have been set back by both the recent recession and by a deep tax cut that has not produced the economic growth its proponents expected, leaving Walker no choice but to make drastic cuts to state services in an attempt to balance the budget in advance of his widely anticipated run for president. If Walker’s plan is approved by the legislature, it will likely lead to layoffs, reductions in course offerings, and possibly an increase in tuition when a state-mandated tuition freeze expires in 2017. 
Wisconsin may be the latest state to announce a slash to higher education funding, but it’s certainly not alone. The situation was particularly acute in California, which suffered from crippling budget shortfalls during most of the last decade, as well as higher-than-average costs. And where there are chronic shortfalls, increases in tuition to make up the gap are usually not far behind: according to data compiled by KQED, the average student at the University of California today will pay three times as much in tuition as the average student did in 1992, despite a tuition freeze that has been in effect for the past three years, and will leave school with an average debt load of $20,500.
This is a nationwide problem. Why?
The examples of Wisconsin and California may extreme, but this has been a nationwide problem over the course of the past decade because the funding sources of public colleges and universities in the United States have undergone a radical transformation.
In 2003, state funding provided nearly a third of the total revenue that public universities received, while student-paid tuition made up only 17 percent. But soaring costs have combined with chronic revenue shortfalls in state budgets to flip this picture on its head. In 2012, tuition outpaced state funding as the primary revenue source for public universities for the first time, making up a full quarter of all revenue received. The share provided by state funding, meanwhile, dipped to 23 percent.
The entire point of having a public university system was to guarantee a low-cost, high-quality university education to qualified residents of a state, regardless of income. But funding cuts and tuition increases have made even a public university education unaffordable for many.
So where did this money go?
State funding of public universities has been trending downward for decades. When state governments experience fiscal shortfalls, state support for higher education usually takes a hit in an effort to get the budget back into balance. The decline in government funding usually results in higher tuition, as university administrators seek to recoup the money from the next immediately available source.
The problem?
When the fiscal crisis ends and the budget becomes balanced, the cuts to state funding have usually not been restored; instead, the reduced levels of funding become the new baseline. And the next time there’s a budget crunch, the cycle repeats all over again. It works like a ratchet: funding can go down very easily, but good luck getting it to go back where it was.
The so-called “great recession” that started with the financial collapse of 2008 is a perfect example. In 49 states, public funding of higher education is still lower than it was when the financial collapse started, even though several states have been on the path to economic recovery for some time. The only state with a higher level of funding now than then is North Dakota, which survived the recession relatively unscathed because the state's shale oil boom has kept state coffers full for the time being.


  1. What matters, what really matters, are salaries of professional sports players and incomes of team owners; that's what counts in America.

  2. I want to offer us all a new euphemism to describe the idiocy of Scott Walker's ideas. From now on we shall refer to them as, "Walkerisms."

    WAL-KER-ISM: noun/verb/euphemism; A euphemism attached to a politician that espouses redistributing wealth from the bottom to the top as a solution to all mankind's problems.

    Origin: Scott Walker

    "Based on the logic of idiot who got himself elected and whom truly believes rhetoric, myth and propaganda produced by the party of hatred, -the G.O.P."

  3. Ya right "wealth at the bottom to the top" their is no wealth at the bottom you moron. You must be a product of the gov't indoctrination centers yourself with that kind of doublespeak. College tuition is too high to begin with and what do people who go there get for it, a job that doesn't even allow them to move out of their room at home, if they can even get one! The federal gov't is funding students and colleges love it because we tax slaves are responsible to pay up when those loans default, and they are by the BIllions!. 50% of students in college should not even be there, it's not necessary to get a job. Public funding of education doesn't benefit anyone except those at the top anyway because the money stays at the top and they don't care if their product works or not and are not held accountable to all of us tax slaves who have to ultimately pay for the bailout. Your argument is completely upside down!

  4. Thinking Walker was 'installed' the neo communists. Walker is most likely a 'closet gay man'. Neo Communists love 'gay men'.