Senior Director of State Fiscal Research
“Many state governments have begun to boost higher-education budgets,” the Wall Street Journal reports today. That’s welcome news, but as the striking chart below (from our recent report) shows, those increases follow several years of severe cuts.
Moreover, as the Journal notes, states like Kansas and North Carolina are considering more cuts in higher ed funding. That’s particularly troubling given that both states are also seriously considering costly income tax cuts, as we explain here and here.
A large and growing share of future jobs will require college-educated workers. Investing in higher education to keep tuition reasonable and quality high at public colleges and universities, and to provide financial aid and other supports like counseling and career guidance to students who need it most, would help states to develop the skilled workforce they will need to fill these jobs. That’s a better strategy than tax cuts to strengthen state economies.