Monday, February 17, 2014

Workforce development

The content providers at NOLA.com must have patted themselves on the back this weekend for creating yet another attention-grabbing headline.

Bobby Jindal isn't the only governor focused on workforce development

The item below the banner declaring Jindal's "focus" was less an article than it was a lazy blog post linking Jindal's recent attempt to pass off a $90 million rise in tuition and fees paid by students at Louisiana's public colleges as some sort of investment in higher ed. Maybe the NOLA.com content elves should read their own website more thoroughly.

Or they could read The Advocate where the consequences of the higher ed funding crisis were reported this morning. UNO is looking at probably 30 or so more layoffs this year.
The move is one of a slew of cost-cutting maneuvers Fos has instituted since he took the reins as the school’s president in January 2012.

Since then, he has cut a total of 90 staff positions, closed a children’s center and convened a committee of faculty and administrators to assist in finding upward of $6 million in savings.

The university has also been raising tuition. Full-time undergraduates from Louisiana currently pay $6,566 a year, which is about $2,300 more than they did in 2008.

The measures have not been enough to counteract UNO’s dwindling enrollment and state funding.

The school’s enrollment has been nearly sliced in half over the last decade, falling from 17,360 in 2003 to 9,323 in 2013.

Meanwhile, funding from the state has plunged from $56 million in 2008 to $32 million in the current fiscal year.
As institutions like UNO wither, fewer Louisianians of moderate means have access to quality higher education.  But, according to the headlines,  "Bobby Jindal is focused on workforce development" and "Increased higher ed funding" As long as we're cribbing our headlines from Jindal's own press releases, I guess this will always be the case.

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