Leaders in Louisiana want more money for higher education
Louisiana education leaders are asking for “twice as much money next year” after the state’s budget crisis this past year.
Currently state schools receive nearly $770 million in funding, but due to the shortfall and other needs, leaders are requesting $1.4 billion in funding for 2016-2017.
But the request is steeped in good news. While Louisiana may have budget issues, the additional money is needed to keep up with a growing workforce in the state.
“Higher education needs to add slots and expand programs at both two-year and four-year colleges to meet these needs, but doesn’t have resources to do so currently,” officials said.
According to NOLA.com, the state’s job market demands cannot be met if new money isn’t approved.
It will be tough sledding as education leaders had to fight just to get the current level of funding. In order to meet budget needs, many states–including Louisiana–will cut higher education funding to stay afloat.
NOLA.com reports that “[s]ince 2008, more than $700 million has been removed from Louisiana’s colleges and universities’ budgets — a larger cut than any other state higher education system in the country has had to endure.”
It’s why leaders are concerned that filling critical positions in the state’s workforce will be compromised if the new money isn’t approved.
A decision on when, or if, the request will be approved will not come until the state legislature meets for its next session in 2016. I don’t see how the state can deny hiring the right amount of educators for the students who need those instructors — but I guess we will wait and see what happens.