Keep budget axe away from higher education

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2001

As the Mississippi Legislature begins the arduous task of making the state’s budget ends meet, we urge them to consider carefully the long-term ramifications making cuts to higher education.

With tax revenue down, lawmakers are looking everywhere for places to trim fat from the budget. Well, the problem with cutting higher education is that what may on the surface seem like fat actually isn’t.

How many times have we heard people say &uot;Cut out all of that arts and humanities stuff?&uot;

Email newsletter signup

What a boring world it would be without the myriad of art available for our enjoyment. And that’s just one example of what many folks always consider &uot;expendable&uot; when the budget axe gets pulled out each budgeting season.

Educational spending is an investment.

It’s an investment in the future of the students and, perhaps more important long term, educational spending is an investment in our state’s future.

In a state which normally finds itself at or near the bottom of any educational survey, we cannot afford to take more money out of higher education.

On a local level, Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus and Alcorn State University are already trying to find ways to cope with last year’s budget cuts as fears of additional cuts are making their way onto campus.

Deans of both schools are already bracing for possible cuts in both courses offered and in staff. Mississippi should avoid crippling our already strapped higher education system.

We urge lawmakers to use their budget scalpels carefully before they cut off our state’s future.