The remarkable Advocate editorial: “higher education is headed for a fiscal crash”

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By Robert Mann

Gov. Bobby Jindal‘s savage cuts to higher education over the last five years have generated volumes of criticism in this space and elsewhere.

And Jindal deserves every bit of that censure.

Among his first acts as governor was to back the destruction of the Stelly Plan, which slashed income taxes for the wealthy and blew a $1 billion-plus hole in the state’s budget.

Higher education and health care have been in distress ever since.

Nothing I’ve read, however, comes close to skewering Jindal as completely as today’s editorial in The Advocate of Baton Rouge.

The editorial, “Our Views: Jindal’s math a shell game,” accuses Jindal of “stretch[ing] the truth” and of having a “false position” on higher education funding. It says his current budget is a “potential catastrophe for state colleges and universities.”

Jindal’s latest budget presages “new era of damaging cutbacks” for colleges and universities. It asserts “[a]nother Jindal falsehood is that tuition increases are state aid to higher education.” And it argues that “higher education is headed for a fiscal crash that could be even worse than the last five years of declining state aid and midyear budget cuts.”

It’s a bold and powerful indictment of a governor who hopes to someday become president, but will be lucky to limp out of Baton Rouge in January 2016 with any shred of his reputation intact.

He will, instead, be remembered for crippling his state’s colleges and universities.

Below are the first two paragraphs of the Advocate opinion piece, with a link to the full editorial below that.

In no area does Gov. Bobby Jindal stretch the truth more in the assertion — usually delivered via aides, to avoid responsibility for his false position — that he has been a supporter of higher education in Louisiana.

Just look at the latest budget proposal, which is a potential catastrophe for state colleges and universities. From Jindal spokesman Sean Lansing comes the emollient assurance that “the governor’s proposal does not include any cuts to higher education funding, and there are no reductions to campuses.”

Read the rest of the editorial here.

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12 Responses to The remarkable Advocate editorial: “higher education is headed for a fiscal crash”

  1. Fredster says:

    Thank goodness some of these folks are finally starting to speak up. Now where have they been all along?

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  2. Fredster says:

    You know, at the time I thought it was the most embarrassing thing that the athletics dept. was going to “subsidize” the school itself. (From The Advocate)

    The LSU Board of Supervisors will vote Friday on the LSU Athletics Fund Transfer Policy. Under the agreement, the Athletic Department would transfer $7.2 million annually — $36 million over five years — to support university academics.

    However, as they say, any port in a storm. I know part of this was helping athletics itself with the Student Athletes Academic Center, but it read like it is going to go further than that.

    http://theadvocate.com/home/3820021-125/lsu-athletics-to-annually-contribute

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  3. Pingback: Jindal’s poll: bad across the board, but he’s hemorrhaging women | Something Like the Truth

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  5. ulyankee says:

    It will get even worse for higher ed in Louisiana when GRAD Act is fully implemented in fall 2014. It will be very, very, VERY bad for the regional 4 year schools (all but 4 schools in the state BTW) whose enrollments will drop precipitously unless the Regents reneges on the new admission criteria. These are the schools which are most at risk now and this will take them over the edge. Not to mention bad for the students who won’t be able to get into them or be able to find space in our community colleges either which are already busting at the seams. Hopefully these students and their parents will place the blame where it belongs… which is not on the higher ed institutions or even on the Board of Regents which were all forced to go along with GRAD Act. This is 100% Jindal’s doing.

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