Carver County legislators vote to slash higher education funding

The Minnesota House and Senate passed their versions of the higher education omnibus spending bills yesterday.  Carver County’s legislators, Senator Julianne Ortman and Representatives Joe Hoppe and Ernie Leidiger voted in favor of the bills.

You can sum up the bills in one sentence: 

If you’re going to attend a public college or university in this state, prepare for the worst.

The Senate bill would cut funding to the University of Minnesota by 19%, or $243 million, while the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) would take a 13% ($167 million) cut.  The House bill would cut 13% from both the U of M and MnSCU.

Included in the bills was a cap on tuition increases.  MnSCU, for instance, is capped to a 2% tuition increase at colleges and 4% at universities.  Do the math — that means about 10% in spending cuts is going to be required.  That means you’re going to see significant cutbacks across campuses — things like libraries, computer equipment, lab equipment, support staff are all going to be cut to the bone.  Optional fees for use of university equipment or facilities will skyrocket.

The University of Minnesota alone has an $8.6 billion economic impact on the state, and it is estimated that investments in public education return $13 in benefit for every $1 of investment.  Deep, dramatic cuts along these lines are extremely hazardous to Minnesota’s long-term economic well-being.

Once again, Republicans are demonstrating their priorities:  balancing the budget on the backs of the lower- and middle-classes while leaving the wealthiest Minnesotans and corporations essentially unscathed.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Breaking down the Chanhassen Villager’s unbalanced political coverage | Brick City Blog - April 1, 2011

    […] Ortman, Joe Hoppe, and Ernie Leidiger put their votes behind over the past couple of weeks.  Huge cuts to higher education and major cuts to health and human services, among them.  I would think most Villager readers would […]

  2. Legislative Watch: Spin and Facts | Brick City Blog - April 8, 2011

    […] The budget bills passed by the Legislature cut funding for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State colleges and Universities (MnSCU) by 13-19%, reducing funding to the same levels as in the late […]

  3. 2013 Legislative To-Do List | Brick City Blog - January 3, 2013

    […] to our public universities is vital as well.  Even though enrollment is up 23,000 over that time, funding for the University of Minnesota system and MnSCU has declined back to Ventura Administration….  This is a significant factor in the doubling of college tuition over the last decade.  In […]

  4. GOP’s phony baloney budget math | Brick City Blog - April 5, 2013

    […] safety, transportation, economic development, and veterans programs.  Some of these programs have already taken severe cuts in previous budget […]

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