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By Robert Mann

It’s buried on page six of the latest edition of Focus on the FISC, a monthly publication of the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office. Fiscal analyst Charley Rome reports that Louisiana has cut State General Fund support for higher education by 66 percent since fiscal year 2009.

Much of this, of course, has been offset by increased tuition and fees on students and their families. But taking that into account, the report concludes, “Overall total net funding to Higher Education has decreased by $353 M, or 11.8%, from FY 09 to FY 14.”

You can find the publication at this link. Or read the entire text of the higher education section below:

Table 6 above shows that State General Fund (SGF) support for higher education has decreased significantly over the last five years. The state’s general operating budget included approximately $1.55 B in SGF for higher education in FY09. SGF for higher education has decreased approximately 66% since FY09, decreasing by approximately $1 B to $525 M in FY14. Furthermore, higher education funding from SGF represented approximately 17.6% of all SGF in the state’s general operating budget in FY09. This percentage has declined to approximately 6.7% in FY14. SGF for higher education would need to increase by approximately $848 M to represent 17.6% of all SGF in the general operating budget in FY 14.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 2.18.25 PMTable 6 above also shows that self-generated revenues (SGR) for higher education have increased significantly over the last five years. Increases in mandatory tuition and fees represent most of the growth in SGR over the last five years. The state’s general operating budget included approximately $735 M in SGR for higher education in FY 09. SGR for higher education has increased approximately 74% since FY09, increasing by approximately $544 M to $1.279 B in FY 14. In addition, Higher Education funding for FY 14 includes $340 M appropriated from the Overcollections Fund (See Table 7 to the right). Overall total net funding to Higher Education has decreased by $353 M, or 11.8%, from FY 09 to FY 14.

4 thoughts on “Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office: state approps to higher education down by 66% since ’09

  1. Let’s keep ’em ignorant; a population without critical thinking skills is easier to manipulate.

    A political ideology that includes little to no investment in human capital (public education) is one that leads to poor outcomes, as evidenced by Louisiana’s rank of 49th or 50th on quality of life measures.

    You would think after decades of bringing up the rear, our governor and legislature might get a clue. But you would be wrong. They have to care first before they stop digging the hole deeper. I see no evidence of that.

    Not investing in education is like eating your seed corn. It’s astounding to me that a purportedly intelligent governing body doesn’t recognize this. But like I said, they have to give a damn first.


  2. The true picture is not clear unless the other portion is revealed. It is that during that same timeframe, corporate tax exemptions have mushroomed an amount even greater than those reductions in higher education funding. That is according to the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s “Tax Exemption Budget” which it is required by law to produce every year.

    So, the true equation is this: Governor Jindal and the Legislature have shifted more than $1 billion in taxes away from business and industry and put most of it squarely on the backs of college students and their parents. But, since tuition increases and fee increases are not technically taxes, few are aware of this tax burden shift and the Governor gets to continue appearing to be the ‘no new taxes’ purist that his ideological scorekeepers demand.

    The fact that the Governor remains a non-entity in GOP presidential campaigns (he’s never even been vetted!) makes this all the more galling. He’s wrecking our state in a craven bid for popularity among conservative Republican voters, but he’s not getting it — meaning this damage is all being done for nothing (except, maybe, spite!).


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