Report Warns Against Higher-Education Cuts to Balance State Budget
Monday, November 23, 2020
DENVER -- As Colorado faces multi-billion-dollar budget deficits in coming years due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a new report warns that indiscriminate cuts to higher education will make it harder to get people trained and back to work, and disproportionately impact students of color.
Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director for the Colorado Department of Higher Education said while the concept of sharing the pain equally sounds fair, it's not.
"Because across-the-board cuts disproportionately impact some of our small, rural comprehensive four year institutions who depend more heavily on state funds," Paccione explained.
The University of Colorado Boulder receives roughly 5% of its budget from the state, but Adams State University in Alamosa gets 40% from the state.
Budget experts predict Colorado will see revenues decline by $2.1 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July 2021, with losses of $1.5 billion the following year.
Paccione noted the report's recommendations that colleges make certificate and degree completion a priority is in sync with Gov. Jared Polis' policy goals to prepare students for the workforce of the future.
"It's not for the sake of the credential, it's for the sake of them being able to maximize their earning potential and make the economic contributions to our community," Paccione confirmed. "The individual, the state and the economy really benefit when students complete their credential, their degree."
The report also calls for a "students-first" approach and offers principles for policymakers to consider to support lower-income students of color and adult learners who are retraining after losing their jobs.
That means protecting financial aid and prioritizing the community-college systems that serve vulnerable populations.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
get more stories like this via email
Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…
Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …
Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …
Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…
A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …
Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…
Health and Wellness
It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …
Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …