On graduation weekend, a call for a greater investment in higher ed (video)

As thousands of North Carolina college students collect their diplomas this weekend, policymakers are increasingly worried about the cost of post-secondary education, and the decreasing amount of financial assistance.

According to the N.C. Budget & Tax Center, tuition within the UNC-system has increased by 23 percent since last year, while need-based aid has declined by 22 percent. (Community college tuition has increased by 17.7 percent over the same period.)

At the same time, the University of North Carolina system has seen its budget cut $682 million by lawmakers over two years.

Governor Bev Perdue, in rolling out her final state budget proposal Thursday, called for investing an additional $145 million in North Carolina’s public universities, and a net increase of more than $53 million for the community college system.

But winning support for that funding may be an uphill battle in the short session. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger has rejected Perdue’s call to raise new revenue, saying it “could shatter our fragile economic recovery.”

This weekend on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, Alexandra Sirota, director of the N.C. Budget & Tax Center discusses the state’s declining investment in higher education since the Great Recession:




  1. Doug

    May 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Now they can join the ranks of the other 15 million who can’t find a job !

  2. gregflynn

    May 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Apparently there’s good money to be made sitting at a computer thinking up one-liner wingnut zingers for moonbat blogs. It’s cost effective: three people can use the same computer! Extra money for exclamation marks! Start now! No life experience necessary!

  3. Frank Burns

    May 12, 2012 at 6:25 am

    The answer is to look at the costs of higher education and find ways to reduce them without raising taxes.

  4. Doug

    May 12, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I know the truth sometimes hurts greg, but someone has to do it. We have been perpetuating this charade called “public education” for so long that some people believe in it, although it is turning out nothing but folks with a bunch of worthless liberal arts degrees and a mountain of debt to go with it. The rest of the world is moving on, and we are left with this constant clamor for more money by the education folks who promise they will get better results, even if they have to dumb down the curriculum of every school. We grant tenure to bad teachers, and spend more time arguing about racial balance than the academic content of these classes. I spend time in the schools as a substitute teacher, and I’ve never seen such an unfocused, undisciplined group in my life, so excuse me if I’m a bit cynical.

  5. gregflynn

    May 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Policy by anecdote and hyperbole, gotta love it.

  6. Doug

    May 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    We can do it the old state government way- don’t change anything, keep hoping things will improve, and spend more money every year. Makes a lot of sense greg !

  7. david esmay

    May 14, 2012 at 8:30 am

    @Alex,Doug,Frank, thanks for pushing the ALEC talking points attacking education. If we just keep cutting, then repubs can enrich their buddies running private schools and virtual charters, we can hand out vouchers to subsidize private schools, and the kids that can’t afford to make up the difference in tuition can take their voucher money and hand it over to a for profit charter. This would guarantee the poor could then be segregated and relegated to a sub-par education, the wealthy would receive a quality one and the state can pick up the tab.

  8. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

    David, Can you explain why higher education costs have exceeded the cost of inflation? I sense a bloated bureaucracy in our midst. These are my talking points, but I’m pleased that there are others who agree with me.

  9. david esmay

    May 14, 2012 at 9:31 am


  10. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    David, that answer is not acceptable. They have a limited number of slots for students. Maybe they should stop allowing foreign students in. Increased demand just increases competition for the remaining spaces for entry. It does not increase cost.

  11. Alex

    May 14, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Totally wrong david. Demand does not drive up costs in an educational institution !

  12. david esmay

    May 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    @Alex, it certainly is a factor. According to the dept. of education, enrollment at institutions for higher education have increased 9%, coupled with deep cuts in state spending at public colleges and universities,and reduction of financial aid forces an increase in tuition and required fees. NC 19%, national average 32% over the last ten years. Frank inflation has been artificially held down by economic measures installed by the fed over the last 25 years, while wages have stagnated and the cost of goods and services have increased. Alex!!!!!

  13. david esmay

    May 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Frank, maybe we should build a great big wall around us, top it off with a plexi-glass dome to keep out all them damn fureners. Then we can erect a giant gay umbrella to protect us within the dome of silence. Burns, isn’t that middle English or Scottish? Maybe since you are a foreigner, you can be repatriated.

  14. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Allow me to make a modest suggestion, the colleges and universities should live within their means and not be as generous as they have been with salaries and benefits. Another suggestion is to cut back on humanities and liberal arts and focus more on science and engineering. How does that sound?

    Regarding foreign students, if NC students are denied entry in favor of foreign students, does that make any sense? Even more ridiculous, should we offer scholarships to foreign students over NC citizens?

  15. david esmay

    May 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Why cut back on academics? I have an an degree in English, why not cut lacrosse? Why stop at foreign students, let’s stop out of state students. Let’s make our universities as narrow and xenophobic as possible.

  16. Alex

    May 15, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I would not have guessed you have a degree in English david !

  17. Ricky Leung

    May 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I would not have guessed you went to school, Alex!

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