When you’re dealing with budgets … everything is connected. Let’s assume you have a budget of $1 billion for whatever area we’re talking about. That’s everything – all in. You have a choice about what you spend that money on and for every $ you spend on any particular area … that’s another dollar that you can’t spend in another area.
Some investments give immediate benefits and others provide long term benefits. Unfortunately – there is a growing trend in the conservative movement to approach government like a publicly run business and I don’t mean that in a nice way. Public companies are so focused on driving quarterly results that they sometimes hurt long term success for short term gain. It’s a simple concept.
You could sell your car and make money from that transaction TODAY. But tomorrow – how are you going to get to work? When it is all said and done – short term profits aren’t always the right way to go. And that’s what conservatives are doing with education. There are tremendous cuts to spending on education that is helping the budgets of today and hurting America’s competitiveness tomorrow. At the K-12 levels … huge cuts to public school funding is going to have a negative impact on the education of our children who will be the taxpayers of tomorrow. At the college level – cuts to education result in higher tuition costs as schools transfer the reduction in funds directly to students in the form of higher tuition.
And with student loans already topping $1 trillion last year (source), the end result is a college system less available for poorer families or even larger debt burdens being placed on college students. Student loans act as a regressive tax in a way …. it places a large, direct burden squarely on the shoulders of these kids going to college sometimes saddling them with over $100,000 in debt. It didn’t used to always be like this; this is a newer phenomenon courtesy of cuts to America’s education system. A good example of this is in California which is seeing huge increases in costs for the prison system and thus … cuts to higher education (source). Well – there is one more study showing a correlation between cuts in state and local funding for higher education and an increase in tuition costs for college kids.
The NY FED has the data HERE:
In the public discourse, federal funding is often blamed for driving up tuition. However, our analysis suggests that public schools are increasing tuition as a way to make up for decreasing state and local appropriations for higher education, and that deeper cuts in public funding may be associated with correspondingly greater tuition hikes. How much change in public institution tuition is caused by a 1 percent change in public funding is a question that is much harder to answer. The reason is that public institutions can make up for the shortfall in revenues from the states in many ways aside from raising the tuition price: they can lay off instructional, administrative, or other types of staff; or they may even eliminate specific programs from their academic curriculum. Finally, a state school may be inclined to accept a greater proportion of out-of-state students, who pay more in tuition than in-state students; however, additional analysis we conducted fails to find evidence of this over the years 2001-10.
State and local appropriations for public universities and colleges have been declining since 2000, while net tuition at public schools has grown substantially both in real terms and relative to private tuition growth. Our post presents strong suggestive evidence that decreases in state and local appropriations are associated with increases in net tuition at public schools, particularly in recent years. This finding is troubling, since public universities and colleges may face even greater financial strain in the years to come as ARRA federal funding shrinks. For the college student, this means shouldering more of the financial burden, including the possibility of taking out ever larger student loans.
As we have shown HERE – here is another chart to show the correlation between the cost for students and government assistance.
“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race. Family income is now nearly as strong as parental education in predicting children’s achievement.”
~Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist (source)
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