The Chronicle of Higher Education C among the best sources for higher education news on the internet C is once again first to report that after declining steadily since the financial crisis of 2008, state funding for higher education is rebounding. It is still expected that a long time will pass before the funding will go back to pre-2008 levels, but thinks are searching up in a sector which has had little to appear forward to within the last few years.
Last fiscal year, states spent .4% less on higher ed than they did a year before, but the picture changes when examining the numbers this season. Eric Kelderman analyzed the information compiled at Illinois State University and the State Advanced schooling Executive Officers and reports that 30 states are set to increase advanced schooling funding this year anywhere between .1% and 14%.
The overall drop in this year’s budgets stemmed from larger cuts in big states, for example Florida, where state lawmakers have decreased higher-education spending by 8 percent. In California, where state money for colleges fell nearly 6 % from the year before, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has?proposed increasing state funds for the public-college systems?by 4 percent to 6 percent in the coming fiscal year. As in many other states, that proposal included the expectation that state colleges could keep tuition flat and increase their efficiency in producing graduates.
The rise in funding represents a welcome turnaround of the trend of the past five years, when only 12 out of 50 states were able to maintain the same or more levels of advanced schooling funding. Based on Kelderman, that includes states that have made substantial spending cuts like Arizona, whose public university system lost 37% of their funding, and Nh, where the hit was only a slightly more sensible 36%.
“Barring an additional downturn in the economy, the relatively small overall change … suggests that higher education might be at the beginning stages of the climb out of the fiscal trough brought on by the last recession,” says a news release accompanying the survey data.
As the Chronicle procedes to note, this month has not been filled with exclusively great news for the advanced schooling sector. Kelderman refers to the recently published analysis by Moody’s Investors Services which has cut the outlook for that U.S. higher education sector to negative based on the fact that the current education model is financially unsustainable in the long run.
Among its reasons for the downgrade, Moody’s cited the problem of funding, predicting that state allocations for higher education will continue to contract. It is unclear if the data in the survey which arrived on the scene after Moody’s downgrade has any implications for the company’s analysis.