Wednesday, December 20, 2006
On this day:

Alabama higher ed gets big boost in funding

NRO's John J. Miller quotes from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

A new national survey shows that state spending on higher education is continuing to rise in most of the country and is growing faster than kudzu in much of the South.

Total state general-fund appropriations for higher education are up by 7 percent, to $72.18-billion, in the 2006-7 fiscal year, according to an annual survey conducted by the Center for the Study of Education Policy, at Illinois State University. Detailed statistics from the survey, including state-by-state and institution-by-institution breakdowns, are available here.

Fourteen states experienced double-digit increases in their appropriations for higher education, the most since the center began tracking one-year fluctuations in such spending, in 1991.

Alabama had the largest one-year jump, with lawmakers there budgeting a whopping 18.7 percent more for colleges and financial aid. Increases of at least 13 percent were reported by Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

Over all, 28 states increased appropriations for higher education by at least 5 percent for 2006-7.
That additional state funding comes on top of whopping tuition increases over the past five years at most of the state's colleges and universities. So, what are they doing with all this money? Are they using it to improve the quality of education, or are they spending the bulk of it on fancy new dorms, recreation facilities, parking decks, and Bus-a-Drunk services? Are they spending it to attract quality faculty members and improve classroom instruction, or to hire more do-nothing administrators? The answers to those questions are important, because you can rest assured that every one of these institutions will be back next year begging for even more of our tax dollars.