Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re trying your hardest to get to class on time but you just can’t get there? Or where you realize during final exams that you were registered for classes you never attended? What about the one where you realize that all of the classes you need to graduate have been cancelled completely?
That last scenario is becoming frighteningly possible for college students in Louisiana, where a state revenue crisis may lead to unprecedented cuts to the higher education system. As one LSU student told Inside Higher Ed: “I’m most scared that come fall, I’m going to wake up the next day…and some of my classes won’t be there anymore. Then my whole graduation plan is completely altered.” According to IHE:
Louisiana’s general fund contribution to higher education this year will be $924 million. But unless the legislature takes action within the next 45 days, that number plummets to $391 million for the next fiscal year, which starts in July.
That kind of catastrophic funding decrease isn’t just a nightmare for college students, faculty, and staff; it also has huge negative implications for the state’s economy and the economic mobility of its people. Like we said last week, a Southern economic mobility strategy must include education because a young person’s chances of moving up the income ladder are significantly dependent on educational attainment.