Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why are we cutting higher ed?

Here's a typically territorial clash of the tiny titans between Pat Connick and Austin Badon.
Resurrecting tolls on the Crescent City Connection could return to the Legislature's agenda this spring if a measure to merge Southern University at New Orleans with the University of New Orleans also is revived, a legislator said.

Calling it a "shot across the bow,'' state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, warned that he may push to reinstate the tolls, if Rep. Pat Connick, R-Marrero, pushes to combine the schools. Connick opposed the tolls renewal in 2012.
Yeah, it's petty. No, it's not going to amount to anything. Still it's worth noting why Pat Connick thinks we're currently gutting higher education in the state of Louisiana.
He pointed to the decision by Southern University's governing board to combine the jobs of system president and main campus chancellor to streamline the organization. Southern is facing a $15 million deficit next year.

"This issue has never been addressed by the Legislature. It's been pushed under the rug and ignored,'' Connick said, adding Louisiana has too many public universities. "That's why we are precisely where we are today, cutting higher ed, cutting health care.''
No. We're cutting higher ed and health care because Bobby Jindal has wrecked the budget in pursuit of a career in national politics.  But thanks for your concern. 

1 comment:

elsbet said...

Jindal's anti-tax purism is the number one reason, but there are long-term problems that create these conditions: the constitutional protections for every damned thing other than higher ed and healthcare, and the power of the governor's office to make legislators fall in line. When the governor's party has a majority, there will never be real debate in the state House or Senate and no one will challenge the executive. We need a constitutional amendment to revoke all the current budget protections, and a constitutional convention (probably; I'm guessing on the mechanism here) to weaken the governor's office overall.