Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Every university is an oil and gas vo-tech

Jindal slashes hundreds of millions of dollars from Louisiana higher ed over a period of years.  Comes back in his final year in office and offers a portion of those cuts back.. sort of.. but with strings attached. 
After several years of inflicting cuts, Bobby Jindal is set to increase state higher education funding in next year's budget. The gov announced Tuesday that he is set to propose a $141.5 million increase in state-run colleges and universities for next fiscal year, which marks a 6.66 percent increase for 2013-14. More than a quarter of that money will go toward a program that provides money to colleges to partner with private industry, and implement workforce training programs for jobs in Louisiana's biggest economic sectors like oil & gas and manufacturing.
How did they find the money for their private-public vo-tech program?  Simple, they raised the price families pay to send their kids to college. 
While it’s technically true that under Jindal’s plan higher education institutions will have that much more money to work with compared with last year, nearly $88 million of that funding will come from students in the form of tuition increases allowed under the 2010 GRAD Act law.

The law allows schools to raise tuition 10 percent each year provided they meet certain performance benchmarks including improved graduation and retention rates.

But during the lean economic times of the past few years, schools would raise tuition under their GRAD Act authority, only to have lawmakers turn around and strip them of the same amount of state general fund dollars — erasing any gains the schools made by raising tuition.

Jindal’s plan would put an end to that practice.
In other words, the best way to describe this plan is it is a tax increase on college students applied to helping the petrochemical companies operating in Louisiana train their workers.   Here's how the Times-Picayune describes it in their headline.

TP Jindal headline

Technically, kind of true. Except that they're actually in line for about a fifth of what Jindal already cut from them.

Here's The Advocate.

Advocate Jindal headline

Again, just not at all descriptive of what's actually happening.  Although admittedly an improvement over the headline it ran under online yesterday which was, "Jindal plans to pump $140 million into higher ed"  The vestigial URL still exists


Although the text has been changed.  But it does tell you a little about how they think. 

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