Last Friday Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced that Missouri's public colleges and universities will suffer state budget cuts for the third straight year. On that same day, Heartland News reported that the Kentucky Council on Post secondary Education had approved tuition hikes; as much as 6% at some state institutions. The council blamed – you guessed it - state budget cuts. And not to be left out of the equation, earlier this month, we reported tuition hikes in higher education in Illinois.
It seems that providing adequate support for higher education in the Heartland is a problem that is not unique to any single institution or government. This at the very time when we need to encourage furthering education. I'm not saying that it is an easy decision to make these cuts and raise tuition, nor am I offering up a magic solution. This is a big problem that we must find ways to overcome.
This cycle of cutting funds and raising tuition is counterproductive to our success as a society and it must come to an end. We must find ways to better fund education in this country. We must provide a path to better education…not a roadblock. And we need not look only to Higher education but to K-12 and pre-K too. It is an investment in our young people that will pay off in the future for our states, our region, and our country.
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