Idaho’s higher ed cuts since recession rank sixth-deepest in nation

The Spokesman-ReviewMay 2, 2014 

Idaho has cut its state funding for public colleges and universities by 36.8 percent since 2008, more than all but five other states, according to a new report from Idaho KidsCount and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The report said that, adjusted for inflation and in constant 2013 dollars, Idaho cut funding by $3,857 per higher education student. Meanwhile, average tuition at Idaho’s public four-year colleges increased 28.5 percent.

“Areas with highly educated residents tend to attract employers who pay competitive wages. That’s what Idaho needs,” said Lauren Necochea, director of Idaho KidsCount. “We should be looking for ways to make college more affordable for students and their families.”

Michael Mitchell, policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said, “More jobs in the future will require college-educated workers. For the sake of its economy and future workforce, Idaho should start reinvesting in its colleges and universities now.”

The group’s report found that the highest percentage drop in higher ed funding came in Arizona, followed by Louisiana, South Carolina, Oregon, Alabama and Idaho. The biggest drop measured by inflation-adjusted dollars per student came in Louisiana, followed by Hawaii, New Mexico, Alabama and Idaho.

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